Which Bishops Want Silence?

by Bradley Eli, M.Div., Ma.Th.  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  November 15, 2018   

137 bishops voted in Baltimore to continue the silence

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BALTIMORE (ChurchMilitant.com) - The U.S. bishops in Baltimore ultimately defeated a measure asking the Vatican for transparency regarding its investigation into disgraced Abp. Theodore McCarrick's rise to power. Faithful Catholics want to know how each bishop voted.

On Wednesday, the bishops voted against asking Rome to share its documentation pertaining to the McCarrick scandal by a margin of 137 to 83 with three abstentions. Individual votes weren't made known, but about 90 bishops have publicly called for an investigation, which is close to the number of those prelates favoring the resolution.

A lay Catholic convert from Texas gathered the public statements of bishops who weighed in on the need to investigate McCarrick and his enabler bishops. Counting up the number of statements supporting an investigation comes to 89 bishops want the scandal examined. If the 83 bishops voting "yay" to the Vatican's release of documentation is added to the three who abstained from voting comes to 86, it matches closely the 89 calling for McCarrick's scandal to be exposed.

The goal of militant Catholics participating in the Silence Stops Now rally was to urge Church leaders in Baltimore to investigate those bishops who enabled McCarrick to continue his homosexual predation of seminarians and priests. Church Militant broke the story that Pope Francis in September told a U.S. bishops' delegation led by Cdl. Daniel DiNardo, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), that he is rejecting their following proposals:
  • A full investigation into how bishops allowed McCarrick to be promoted
  • Archbishop Carlo Viganò's claims of a homosexual network acting within the hierarchy
  • Opening of confidential channels for reporting complaints against bishops
In October, however, the Vatican seemed to change course, announcing it would be conducting a "thorough study of the entire documentation present in the Archives of the Dicasteries and Offices of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal McCarrick." It's the documentation uncovered in this study that was the subject of Wednesday's vote. The final resolution was about the Vatican releasing this documentation and not simply its conclusions.
It reads:
Regarding the ongoing investigation of the Holy See into the case of Archbishop McCarrick, be it resolved that the bishops of the USCCB encourage the Holy See to release soon all documentation that can be released consistent with canon and civil law regarding the allegations of misconduct against Archbishop McCarrick.
That was the resolution that 137 bishops voted down the last day of their general assembly. It seems that bishops' public statements calling for an investigation into the allegations of McCarrick's homosexual abuse of vulnerable adults are an indication of how the vote went as the number of "yays" almost match the number of those publicly stating they were in favor of conducting such an investigation.
What are people to make of our silence?
Bishop Liam Cary of Baker, Oregon asked a question that is also coming from faithful Catholics. In summing up the scandal of continuing the silence, Cary, during the conference, stated, "What are people to make of our silence?" he asked. "How do we lead our brother to the mercy of God if we leave unspoken the demands of his justice?"
Concerned Catholics are able to use this link to see what their bishop thinks about stopping the silence.
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