Boston, Mass., Jul 24, 2018 / 15:57 pm America/Denver (CNA).
After numerous accusations of sexual abuse of minors and adults have arisen against a former Archbishop of Washington, Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston called Tuesday for bishops to be held accountable for sex abuse.
“These cases and others require more than apologies. They raise up the fact that when charges are brought regarding a bishop or a cardinal, a major gap still exists in the Church’s policies on sexual conduct and sexual abuse,” Cardinal O'Malley wrote July 24.
“While the Church in the United States has adopted a zero tolerance policy regarding the sexual abuse of minors by priests we must have clearer procedures for cases involving bishops. Transparent and consistent protocols are needed to provide justice for the victims and to adequately respond to the legitimate indignation of the community. The Church needs a strong and comprehensive policy to address bishops’ violations of the vows of celibacy in cases of the criminal abuse of minors and in cases involving adults.”
He said he had reached this conclusion through his experience in several dioceses and with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
“The Church needs to swiftly and decisively take action regarding these matters of critical importance. In every instance of claims made by victims of sexual abuse, whether criminal violations or the abuse of power, the primary concern must be for the victim, their family and their loved ones. The victims are to be commended for bringing to light their tragic experience and must be treated with respect and dignity.”