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Bishop Joseph Strickland addresses the USCCB meeting Nov. 13, 2018. YouTube screen grab
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Texas bishop: Prelates who supported, promoted ‘evil’ McCarrick must be held accountable

Martin M. Barillas Martin M. Barillas Follow Martin

TYLER Texas, February 26, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, tweeted that prelates who "supported, promoted and are affiliated with “evil” disgraced ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick must be called to account for their actions.

On Monday, tweeting in reference to a 2004 television interview in which McCarrick condemned sexual abuse, Bishop Strickland wrote: “This despicable video is from 2004. All who supported, promoted and are affiliated with this evil man need to be called to accountability. Pray that the recent Summit will take these concrete steps and pray for the victims.”

In 2004, McCarrick appeared on a broadcast of “Meet the Press” in which he was asked whether there is a “special place in hell” for clerics accused of sexual abuse. McCarrick told show host Tim Russert, “It’s part of our religion that a priest is supposed to be father, brother, friend and guide. And if it’s destroyed, if it is destroyed with young people, with children, it becomes all the more horrible.”

In January, Bishop Strickland seconded Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano’s call on McCarrick to repent for his sins. “Once again as a bishop of the Church I add my voice to the plea of Archbishop Vigano,” the Texas bishop tweeted. “He speaks of ETERNAL SALVATION, language seldom heard throughout this nightmare.”

Previously, McCarrick had presented himself as a voice of reform in the wake of cases of sexual abuse of minors by clerics that came out in 2002 and dated back decades. He took the lead in drafting the U.S. bishop’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that came out of the USCCB’s meeting in Dallas. "This crisis is more important than any crisis we've had in my time," he told The New York Times. "Our people are waiting for the bishops to say, OK, we've got it under control, we're on the same page, we hear you and we've listened to you and now you can be sure that this will never happen again.'' 

The Dallas Charter was criticized, however, by at least one bishop who pointed out that the text of the charter was revised to replace the term “clerics” with the phrase “priests and deacons.” Bishops, including McCarrick, were thereby exempted from sanctions imposed by the charter.

It was during the papacy of St. John Paul II in 2002 that then Bishop Donald Wuerl of Pittsburgh reported allegations against McCarrick to Papal Nuncio Gabriel Montalvo. During a 2004 hearing by the diocesan review board, former priest Robert Ciolek alleged that he had been abused by McCarrick. In 2005 and 2007, monetary compensation was paid by the Diocese of Metuchen and the Archdiocese of Newark to priests who alleged McCarrick had abused them when they were seminarians. McCarrick nevertheless went on to become a cardinal despite the payouts. 

Facing criticism from clergy and laity over his handling of sexual abuse cases, Cardinal Wuerl tendered his resignation to Pope Francis in October.

The Vatican announced earlier this month that McCarrick had been stripped of the clerical state for his crimes against minors and adults. 

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