August 10, 2018

Archbishop Thompson reasserts archdiocese’s ‘care for all persons’

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson issued the following statement in response to the accusations against retired Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick:  

“In light of the recent revelations about sexual abuse and harassment claims against Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, the retired archbishop of Washington, which evidently spanned over several years and at least three dioceses, as well as the highly anticipated grand jury report on sexual abuse cases involving priests in the various Pennsylvania dioceses, it is as if the scab has been yanked off a serious wound long before the healing process was complete.

“Words cannot do justice for the pain and suffering that has been caused by such betrayal and failure on the part of those who are supposed to provide healing, peace, comfort and solidarity to those entrusted to their care rather than harm and injury.

“Appearing in this issue of The Criterion is the August 1 statement of Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, the current president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), outlining key points of concern and call for action. The statement is provided in this issue for you to read in its entirety.

“No doubt, this will be addressed extensively in the upcoming meetings of the administrative committee of the USCCB in September, and the fall plenary session of U.S. bishops in November. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis fully supports this statement and will do everything possible to assure that these concerns and actions remain at the center of our care for all persons, particularly the young and vulnerable.

“I take this occasion to not only reassure our continued commitment to protect and defend all those who are entrusted to our care, but also to encourage evermore soundly victims of sexual abuse and harassment to come forward by reporting to Church or civil authorities.

“Any report made known to the archdiocese is necessarily reported to the proper civil authorities in order that a swift and independent investigation may immediately begin. We take all claims seriously and strive to provide assistance to those making a claim, even when it is not possible to substantiate a particular complaint.

“Amid the frustration, disillusion and anger that scandal brings about, we must not lose sight of those who have been personally violated, betrayed and deeply injured. While seeking justice for perpetrators of such crimes, we must not lose sight of the innocent. While striving to find ways of improving protection, transparency and accountability, we must never tire of accompanying those who have been harmed, both individuals and families, seeking to heal, reconcile and raise up in Jesus Christ.”

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