Contact: Janet Hauter (South Barrington IL) firstname.lastname@example.org (847) 366-2761
For Immediate release August 19, 2008
UNFIT TO LEAD
DEPOSITION PROVIDES CONCRETE EVIDENCE
VOTF TO CARDINAL: “Step down”
The recently revealed deposition by Cardinal Francis George is a clear indictment of his pastoring skills and his inability to lead the people of Chicago. His repeated failures in both the Bennett and McCormack cases indicate a trend to disregard advice from outside clerical circles and continue to follow precedents of deceit, cover-ups and secrecy (imbedded in the clerical culture) in lieu of protecting innocent children from irreparable harm.
- Voice of the Faithful, reviewing the concrete revelations in the deposition, has no choice but to ask the Cardinal to step down. We call for his resignation.
- We also call for a criminal investigation of the actions within the Archdiocese revealed in this deposition. (325 IL. Comp. Stat. Ann.5/4 (West, WESTLAW through 2003 Reg. Sess.))
- We ask, “Where is the criminal justice system in light of demonstrated criminal failings repeated across the country, diocese after diocese? When will Catholic citizens demand morality and justice in our own Church?”
- We have seen bishops and other diocesan officials who aided cover-ups and enabled abusers rewarded with greater responsibilities and titles rather than being held accountable for their misdeeds. Does this system of rewards for failure encourage additional cover-ups?
- Insincere apologies and large financial settlements are “street theater” whether the apologies come from Cardinal George, his brother bishops or the Pope himself. If no consequences accrue to those engaged in committing, perpetuating, or hiding crimes from Catholic congregations, the behavior continues.
- We believe that as Catholics we must exercise our baptismal rights and responsibilities, which include calling for our bishops to be accountable to the people they serve.
With evidence of this latest transgression, and reports of the settlements made in Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and so many other dioceses, we have no trust in promises made by the hierarchy who created this breach of confidence. (We also note that Cardinal George was one of the authors of the bishops’ Charter to Protect Young Children, which his deposition indicates he then violated.)
Words of regret and apology, and promises of “unequivocal condemnation,” mean little if they are not supported by action.
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About Voice of the Faithful (VOTF) VOTF is a worldwide movement of concerned
mainstream Catholics formed in response to the clergy sexual abuse crisis.
The group’s mission is to provide a prayerful voice, attentive to the
Spirit, through which the Faithful can actively participate in the governance
and guidance of the Catholic Church. Its goals are to support survivors of
clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity, and shape structural change
within the Catholic Church in full accordance and harmony with Church teaching.