The bishop of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter said he doesn’t believe prelates who deny knowing about Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s alleged abuses.
Bishop Steven Lopes decried the response of cardinals and bishops who issued public statements in the wake of the scandal surrounding McCarrick, saying they knew nothing about allegations that McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians and others. Lopes said it was no secret among the clergy and seminarians, especially in light of McCarrick’s frequent visits to seminary. (RELATED: Former Vatican Diplomat Accuses Pope Francis Of Complicity In Covering Up McCarrick’s Abuses, Calls For His Resignation)
“I’ll tell you what response I think is not good enough. It’s the parade of cardinals and bishops who have rushed to the television cameras clutching their pectoral crosses, saying ‘I knew nothing,'” Lopes said in a recording shared by Matthew Schmitz, senior editor of First Things Magazine. “I don’t believe it, and I am one of them. I don’t believe it.”
Bishop Steven Lopes says he doesn’t believe cardinals and bishops who deny knowledge of McCarrick’s abuse: pic.twitter.com/3ubMm8Zgfd
— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) August 29, 2018
Lopes said that, as someone who was in seminary when McCarrick was named archbishop of Newark, he has firsthand knowledge of the fact that McCarrick’s alleged proclivities and sexual misconduct were widely known.
“Because as one of the youngest bishops in the conference, you do get an interesting perspective, like, for the fact that I was a seminarian when Theodore McCarrick was named archbishop of Newark. And he would visit the seminary often, and we all knew,” he said.
Lopes’s condemnation of prelates claiming to know nothing of McCarrick comes in the wake of a firestorm among cardinals and bishops over a recent letter released by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, which accused Pope Francis and at least 32 high-ranking church officials of covering up McCarrick’s alleged abuses and helping him advance in rank within the church.
Several of those accused in the letter, such as Archbishop of Washington Donald Wuerl and Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago, denounced Vigano and his accusations and denied knowing about McCarrick’s allegations until the media published them.
Cupich is asked, “When did you become aware of the McCarrick allegations?” His response: pic.twitter.com/pLv51kqNtw
— Matthew Schmitz (@matthewschmitz) August 30, 2018
Other prelates have backed Vigano as a truthful man or called for an investigation of his claims.
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