A letter from the Bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth, Texas to the faithful of his diocese has been released concerning the Cardinal McCarrick sexual abuse controversy. In it Bishop Olsen acknowledges the horrors of the actions perpetrated by McCarrick while he was in service of the Church:
We see in the scandalous crimes and sins alleged to have been committed by now former Cardinal McCarrick, the violation of that trust and the grave damage caused to the lives and health of his purported victims. This scandal and pain are compounded by the horrific fact that reportedly one of his victims was his first baptism after his priestly ordination.
He also calls for McCarrick to be returned to the laity in addition to the punishment he’s received:
Although he has now resigned from the College of Cardinals and has been suspended a divinis with direction to live a life of prayer and penance in seclusion, the alleged crimes of the former Cardinal have caused such further damage to the integrity of the hierarchy and mission of the Church that his prompt reduction canonically to the laity should be strongly deliberated, as has been the case for many other priests, for reconciliation and healing in the light of the justice and merciful redemption as won by Christ and promised to all who are alienated by the corruption of sin. Justice also requires that all of those in Church leadership who knew of the former Cardinal’s alleged crimes and sexual misconduct and did nothing be held accountable for their refusal to act thereby enabling others to be hurt.
We commend Bishop Olsen on his effort and pray that more bishops take a stand like Bishop Olsen so that this scourge may be addressed appropriately.
You can read the entire letter here.