Cardinal Sean O’Malley calls for consequences for the Church

Cardinal Sean O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston and head of the Vatican Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, says the Church and sexual abuse perpetrators need to be held accountable.

In a video message posted on the Archdiocese of Boston website after the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report was released, O’Malley expressed his concern about the Church hierarchy’s lack of accountability and offered a way to ensure improvements are made.

While many perpetrators have been held accountable for their crimes, O’Malley says the Church has yet “to establish clear and transparent systems of accountability and consequence for Church leadership whose failures have allowed these crimes to occur.”

All who participate in the Church’s mission must “embrace spiritual conversion.

“Legal transparency and pastoral accountability” must be demanded of them, he suggested.

This means immediate action needs to be taken, because “the clock is ticking.”

O’Malley’s comments build on those he made in late July after numerous allegations about McCarrick’s sexual misconduct and abuse of diocesan seminarians emerged.

At that time O’Malley suggested future allegations against bishops needed to be handled as a matter of highest priority.

This would involve a new system being put in place to handle complaints against bishops.

The reforms should be clearly announced, so there can be no doubt about how such cases should be handled in the future, he said.

In his view, it’s important for the Church to win back Catholics’ trust – which can only be addressed with the “involvement and leadership of lay men and women in our Church, individuals who can bring their competence, experience and skills to the task we face.”

“We must proceed quickly and with purpose. There is no time to waste,” he said.


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