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Statement of Cardinal Blase J. Cupich, Archbishop of Chicago, on the Open Letter of Cardinal Marc Ouellet

October 8, 2018

In a statement released by the Vatican Press Office on Saturday, October 6, Pope Francis pledged a thorough study of the documentation present in the Archives of the Holy See regarding the former Cardinal, now Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. The Holy Father took the occasion to renew his commitment to address the scourge of abuse within the Church, and to do everything possible to prevent it. In the Vatican declaration, the pope also stated that the Church will not tolerate any cover-ups or accept a different standard for bishops who abuse or cover up, calling this behavior “a form of clericalism that is no longer acceptable.” This clear statement does not come as a surprise to me, for I am convinced that Pope Francis has no hesitation in following a path of accountability. As he remarked during his visit to the United States in 2015: “We will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead.”

The first installment of fulfilling this renewed pledge of openness came the very next day by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who has served as the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops since his appointment by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010. In an authoritative and compelling manner, he provided a detailed response to the central charges against Pope Francis regarding the case of Archbishop McCarrick. Cardinal Ouellet made clear that the Holy Father has given him the full freedom to speak in a way that provides information based on his personal experience and the documents of the Congregation for Bishops.

In his capacity as Prefect, Cardinal Ouellet also called to account those attacking or countenancing attacks on the Pope and the Church. In that spirit, I join my voice to those of the Prefect and of the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in urging “all in the Church particularly the bishops to reaffirm our communion with Pope Francis who is the visible guarantor of the communion of the Catholic Church.”

For the Spanish version of the statement, please click here.

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