By Emily Drooby
“In light of the Holy See’s report on Theodore McCarrick, we again want to express our deep sorrow and pray that they might find healing and hope,” said Archbishop José Gomez, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, speaking of the survivors.
The Archbishop of Los Angeles spent the beginning of his first presidential address speaking about the McCarrick report, which was released just six days prior to the Bishop Conference’s Fall General Assembly.
For the first time, the annual meeting was held virtually and the bishops are making sure they address the report.
McCarrick was laicized last year. At one time, he led dioceses in both New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
“The tragic outcome was not the result of a single failure, but rather resulted from multiple failures across many years,” added Archbishop Gomez, while starting a segment of time specifically dedicated to addressing the McCarrick report.
The report has long been on the group’s mind. During their last gathering in November of 2019, some bishops complained of the report’s delay.
In the wake of the report release, soon-to-be Cardinal, Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C., called for transparency and the need for accountability.
The election, pandemic, racial inequality and abortion were also covered.
“How could the response be more affective? What the Holy Father suggests is moving from seeing someone as a neighbor to viewing them as a brother or sister,” said Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Vatican’s ambassador to the United States., speaking about challenges faced by both clergy and parishioners in the U.S. when it comes to migration, racism and abortion.
Issues many are now facing in the wake of the pandemic were also discussed during the meeting, from loss of livelihood to loss of loved ones.
“We see so many signs of despair throughout our society, people are losing hope,” said Archbishop Gomez.
A beacon of hope for many who were listening was that both Archbishop Pierre and Archbishop Gomez mentioned Blessed Michael McGivney, a Connecticut priest who founded the Knights of Columbus. He was beatified in early November. They referred to him as a great evangelizer, a crucial Church ministry.