Theodore McCarrick, pictured with Pope Francis, is the first cardinal ever to be defrocked for sex abuse. (RTE)

FEBRUARY 16, 2019. Pope Francis must remove from the priesthood any member of the hierarchy who covers up sex crimes.

As bishops around the world gather in Rome with Pope Francis  this week to discuss the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church, many of the bishops there likely have been covering up child sex crimes.  What use is zero tolerance for sex offenders if their bishops are allowed by the Pope to cover up for them? If a bishop knows if he covers up for a sex offender that both he and the offender will be removed permanently from the priesthood then zero tolerance will be a reality.

For years, several bishops and former Popes knew or should have known that former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick was an abuser. Whether Francis himself knew is a serious question, which he has yet to address. Removing McCarrick from the priesthood is long overdue. But doing so and not taking action against those who covered up for him only continues the cover up.  The Vatican doesn’t even mention the cover up in their statement Saturday. Pope Francis is sending a message to the bishops that are meeting this week that there are no consequences for them. If a bishop knew they would be removed from the priesthood for covering up sex crimes they would enforce zero tolerance in their dioceses or religious orders if for no other reason than simple self interest. Only when a bishop knows he will be laicized for covering up sex crimes will he be compelled to act.

For all of ECA’s public actions, visit our website link:

Survivors and activists from ECA will also be available for response each day of the summit immediately after the daily summit press briefings at a location in the nearby piazza. Look for the ECA sign.


Peter Isely (US Spokesperson/ECA Founding Member)
Tel: +1414-429-7259 (English)

Dr. Denise Buchanan (ECA Founding/Board Member)
Tel: +1310-980-2770 (English)

Simone Padovani (ECA Founding Member)
Tel: +393921454211 (English, Italian, Spanish)

Tim Law (President ECA Founding/Board Member)
Tel: +1206.412.0165 (English)

Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) is a worldwide leadership organization of survivors of clergy abuse and human rights activists. Its mission is to compel the Roman Catholic Church to end clergy abuse, protect children, and seek justice for victims. ECA assembly members represent over 21 countries from 6 continents. @ENDCLERGYABUSE   –