National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Victims' group criticizes Cardinal George

Rome

Comments made Monday by Chicago Cardinal Francis George regarding a global "zero tolerance" policy for priests who sexually abuse children do not go far enough, a victims' advocacy group said Tuesday.

"The cover-up by bishops, cardinals and popes is criminal activity," wrote Kristine Ward, the chair of the National Survivor Advocates Coalition, in the organization's daily newsletter.

"What's missing in these interviews is calling a spade a spade," Ward continued. "What perpetrator priests did needs to be laid on the table in this pre-voting days right alongside what bishops and cardinals and popes did.

"How will Cardinals do that while they sitting beside Cardinal Roger Mahony, Cardinal Sean Brady, Cardinal Justin Rigali, and Cardinal Godfried Daneels?"

George, who will vote in the upcoming papal election, spoke to journalists Monday between sessions of the first day of pre-conclave meetings at the Vatican.

Asked if he would consider a candidate's approach to "sexual misconduct by clergy" when choosing the next pope, George said "that will be an important issue" because sex abuse is a "terrible wound on the body of the church."

"Whoever's elected pope," the cardinal said, "obviously has to accept the universal code of the church now, which is zero tolerance for anyone who has ever abused a minor child, (who) therefore may not remain in public ministry in the church. So that has to be accepted."

50th-Anniv-cover-2.jpgGet this special NCR 50th anniversary offer! Subscribe to NCR by Nov. 15 and get a 50th anniversary issue. This special issue is available exclusively to subscribers. Learn more.

Ward's remarks referred to scandals which have plagued Mahony, Brady, Rigali and Daneels regarding their handling of priest-abusers. Each is expected to vote for the next pope.

Mahony, who was disgraced when an LA court ordered the release of some 12,000 documents showing questionable handling of priests by him in the 1980s, has said the Vatican told him to attend the conclave. 

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

50-and-forward.jpg

NCR Email Alerts