USCCB Meeting Tuesday Wrap

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Cardinal Daniel DiNardo began Tuesday’s meeting assuring concerned bishops that he would bring their voices on sex abuse to the Vatican’s February meeting.

Many stood to speak out, urging brother bishops that they need to do something, anything.

“I came from a diocese that was damaged, gravely damaged, for 16 years and beyond by the predatory behavior of the diocesan bishop. So this is very personal for me, I know what happened. So we really have to give clear response,” said Bishop Kevin Vann, Diocese of Orange.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki received spontaneous applause. “We do have a responsibility to take care of our sheep. Our Holy Father has called us to accompany our sheep, our people are crying out for some action,” said Paprocki.

The bishops agreed they would move forward with discussions about a third party reporting system, a special commission for complaints against bishops and standards of accountability for bishops involved in the sex abuse crisis – all items that were slotted to be voted upon.

The bishops also agreed that they will consider asking the Vatican to release all of the documents related to ex Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.

Dr. Francesco Cesareo, the head of the national review board, praised the progress made since 2002. But at the same time cited a lack of transparency and accountability that is hurting the Catholic faithful.

“Your response to this crisis has been incomplete,” said Cesareo. “It is shameful that the sin of abuse was hidden and allowed to fester until uncovered by the secular world.”

Casereo went on to recommend a full review of all diocesan files dating back to 1950 and urged bishops to have those findings go public.

In an exclusive interview with Currents News Bishop Christopher Coyne, the head of the USCCB Committee on Communication, expressed a similar view.

“The only way you cure cancer and cancerous sin – which was the sin of abuse of children and the fact that it was covered up and still is being covered up in some instances – needs to be removed completely. Otherwise the cancer is going to keep spreading,” said Coyne.

Bishop Coyne was the former spokesman for the Archdiocese of Boston during the 2002 sex abuse crisis.