Vatican orders US bishops to delay taking action on sexual abuse crisis

Mark Abrams
November 12, 2018 - 10:57 am

VATICAN (KYW Newsradio/ CNN) — The Vatican has told the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops to delay voting on measures to hold bishops accountable for failing to protect children from sexual abuse, the president of the conference said in a surprise announcement Monday morning.

In his announcement, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo said he was "disappointed" by the Vatican's decision, which he said he learned of on Sunday afternoon. 

"At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items in our documentation regarding the abuse crisis," said DiNardo. "That is the standards of accountability for bishops and the special commission for receiving complaints against bishops."

While DiNardo insisted that he was puzzled, he considers it a bump in the road. He said he remains hopeful, however, that the American bishops can continue to work on reforms that would hold bishops accountable and take their proposals to the pope's meeting.

"I'm hoping, myself that what we are doing now, whatever may be some of the bumps in the road, that this will eventually work out," DiNardo continued. "And, I don't think that's 'pollyannaish.' I think that there's some trust in that."

Twitter exploded with comments following the news. Among the hundreds, Catholic author John Gehring tweeted: "It's hard to overstate how tone deaf this request from the Vatican is in the context of growing Catholic anger in the pews."

Pope Francis met with his ambassador to the United States, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, on Saturday, according to the pope's public schedule.

Pierre is in Baltimore and addressed the body of bishops on Monday morning. He did not mention the Vatican's insistence that the U.S. bishops delay their vote.

Pope Francis will convene a meeting of bishops from around the world in February to address the sexual abuse crisis, which has roiled the church on several continents, including North America, South America and Australia.


CNN contributed to this report.

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