Special Episode – The Clerical Abuse Crisis and the Response by the Bishops – Why it Matters: An Exploration of Faith with Archbishop George Lucas
In this episode, Archbishop Lucas addresses the Clerical Abuse Crisis now plaguing the Roman Catholic Church and the deeply disturbing behavior of the former Cardinal of the Archdiocese of Washington D.C.,Theodore McCarrick. He also discusses the allegations of the former Papal Nuncio to the United States, Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, that the Holy See, and in particular Pope Francis, was aware of McCarrick’s actions, yet allowed him to maintain a high profile role in the Church.
Archbishop Lucas also speaks of the need to protect the young and the vulnerable, as well as the concerns for seminarians and the state of our seminary system in the United States. He unequivocally states that we should not be afraid of the truth in dealing with this serious situation. He reiterates the vital need for transparency in this matter and the necessity of listening deeply to the pain brought about by this grave and disturbing sin. He joins with his brother bishops in their call for answers to the questions brought forward by this issue in order to restore trust, reestablish integrity, and bring about healing, through Jesus Christ, to all those touched by this crisis.
August 25-26, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters Christ,
News in recent weeks has shown that a number of bishops and priests, over many years, have been personally responsible for the sins and crimes of sexual abuse of minors and the abuse of power. Many have been hurt and shamed by this abuse. This hurt and shame are enduring because they took place where people should have been safe and respected. My shame is deepened by the knowledge that so many in positions of responsibility and trust ignored the cries of the victims and turned away when those who are so dear to the Lord needed their protection and care.
Several days ago, I met with a representative group of our archdiocesan priests. We shared experiences of the pain and anger of our parishioners. We spoke of our own desire for proper accountability and for healing in the Church. Like so many of you, my brother priests are hurt and demoralized by what we have heard. Please let me encourage us all to turn to Christ and beg his companionship in these days. I am committing to fast and pray each Thursday, for mercy and healing for the Church, and I have invited our priests to join me.
In addition, the priests have encouraged me in my commitment to insist with the other bishops of this country that there be structures put in place for judging allegations of misconduct on the part of bishops. All must be able to have confidence that there are transparent and effective ways for bishops to be held accountable for their actions.
Here in the Archdiocese of Omaha, we remain committed to the protection of children, young people, and vulnerable adults. We remain committed to healing for victims of past abuse. In cooperation with members of law enforcement, we remain committed to responding deliberately and professionally to any claims of abuse. Anyone concerned about the actions of clergy or any Church worker should contact our Manager of Victim Outreach and Prevention, Mary Beth Hanus, at 402-827-3798 or toll-free at 1-888-808-9055.
Be assured of my prayers for all of you in the days ahead and of my gratitude for the privilege of serving as your archbishop.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend George J. Lucas
Archbishop of Omaha
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