A Message from Bishop Olmsted

11-04-2018Weekly ReflectionBishop Thomas J. Olmsted

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The U.S. bishops are joining together in a commitment of prayer and reparation leading up to the bishops’ general assembly, where we will be making critical decisions in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis. With our brother bishops across the nation, Bishop Nevares and I will be dedicating ourselves to seven days of intensified prayer and fasting, from Monday, November 5, through Sunday, November 11. The intentions for this period of prayer and sacrifice are three-fold:

  • For the healing and support of all victims of clergy sexual abuse.
  • For the conversion and just punishment of the perpetrators and concealers of sexual abuse.
  • For the strength of the bishops to be holy shepherds in protecting and leading their sheep from all harm.

If you feel called to do so, you are welcome to join us in praying for these intentions. Bishop Nevares and I would also be grateful for any prayers for us and our brother bishops during our general assembly, that we may follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit in responding to the tragedy of clergy sexual abuse in the Church.

This letter and more details are available at fidelity.dphx.org/resources.

Please be assured of our prayers for you, as well.

Sincerely in Christ,

Thomas Olmsted
Bishop of Phoenix




Excerpt from: “Vatican reviewing McCarrick case, vows to pursue truth no matter what”

By Catholic News Service (For full article, visit: http://www.catholicsun.org/2018/10/07/vatican-reviewing-mccarrick-case-vows-topursue-truth-no-matter-what/)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Promising a thorough review of how the Vatican handled allegations of sexual misconduct by former Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, the Vatican acknowledged that what happened may fall short of the procedures that are in place today.

“The Holy See is conscious that, from the examination of the facts and of the circumstances, it may emerge that choices were taken that would not be consonant with a contemporary approach to such issues. However, as Pope Francis has said: ‘We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead,’” the Vatican said in statement released Oct. 6.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. bishops’ conference, welcomed Pope Francis’ pledge to fight attempts to cover up cases of sexual abuse and to stop offering special treatment to bishops who have committed or covered up abuse.

“On behalf of my brother bishops in the United States, I welcome the statement of Oct. 6 from the Holy See which outlines additional steps Pope Francis is taking to ensure the faithful are protected from the evil of sexual assault,” Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo said in a statement released Oct. 7 in Rome.

The Executive Committee of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops had said in August that they would seek such an investigation, and leaders of the bishops’ conference met with Pope Francis Sept. 13 to tell him how the Church in the United States has been “lacerated by the evil of sexual abuse.”

Renewing its commitment to uncovering the truth, the Vatican also said that information gathered from its investigation as well as “a further thorough study” of its archives regarding the former cardinal will be released “in due course.”

“Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for bishops who have committed or covered up abuse, in fact represents a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable,” the Vatican said.

“The truth will ensure the terrible sins of the past are not repeated,” said Cardinal DiNardo. “The courage of abuse survivors who first brought the horrific truth of sexual abuse to light must continue to be matched by our courage as pastors to respond in justice.”

The U.S. cardinal’s statement was published the same day Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, responded to allegations by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former nuncio to the United States, that Pope Francis knew about and ignored the allegations against then-Cardinal McCarrick.

Cardinal Ouellet called Archbishop Viganò’s accusations a “political” ploy that had wounded the unity of the Church.

“Out of respect for the victims and given the need for justice, the inquiry currently underway in the United States and in the Roman Curia should provide a comprehensive and critical study of the procedures and the circumstances of this painful case in order to prevent something like it from ever happening in the future,” Cardinal Ouellet said.

Cardinal DiNardo said he and all the U.S. bishops “offer our prayers and solidarity for the Holy Father. We urge all in the Church, particularly the bishops, to reaffirm our communion with Pope Francis who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic Church.”

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