November 12, 2018. President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) Cardinal Daniel DiNardo opened the general assembly this morning with an announcement that per order of the Holy See, no vote would be taken on procedural measures posed to stem the growing clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal.

His announcement was followed by a message from the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, Cardinal Christophe Pierre. In his message the Cardinal expressed that “the only way of reforming the Church is to suffer for her. The only way of reforming the visible Church is to suffer for the invisible Church.” As a result of inaction on the part of church leaders, including 130 living U.S. bishops who have been found to have covered up clergy abuse, the invisible church of child survivors of clergy sex abuse have suffered greatly. Cardinal Pierre’s message made almost no mention of the bishops’ role in the scandal.

DiNardo said it was only by listening that the bishops could carry out the changes needed, but survivors have not been invited to meet with the bishops this week to share their perspective on an adequate solution.

Representatives of Ending Clergy Abuse are calling for immediate action on the part of USCCB leadership to demand cooperation of dioceses with the DOJ directive to preserve all documents related to clergy sex abuse.

In an open letter last week, Ending Clergy Abuse called on U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican, Callista Gingrich, to advocate for U.S. children by urging cooperation with any impending investigations. Ambassador Gingrich has been noticeably absent from discussions of policy change among bishops who, despite their oath of loyalty to the Pope of Rome, are U.S. citizens accountable to federal laws surrounding child sex crimes.

Ending Clergy Abuse believes that the only way the Vatican and the USCCB can demonstrate sincerity in stopping the clergy sex abuse problem and holding perpetrators accountable is to allow all local, state, and federal investigations of clergy sex abuse crimes to continue with full cooperation and no intervention on the part of church officials in the U.S. or the Vatican.

Peter Isely
US Spokesperson, Ending Clergy Abuse
Tel: 414.429.7259

Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) is a worldwide organization of survivors and human rights activists whose mission it is to compel the Roman Catholic Church to end clergy abuse, especially child sexual abuse, in order to protect children and to seek justice for victims. ECA demands the end of the Church’s structural mechanism that allows abuse. ECA assembly members represent over 18 countries and 4 continents. –


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