Image result for cardinal wuerl laughing

by Stephen Wynne  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  July 30, 2018    

Charter that punishes priests but gives bishops a pass drafted by serial abuser Cdl. Theodore McCarrick

DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) – Recent revelations have exposed fatal weaknesses in the Dallas Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the 2002 set of procedures established by U.S. bishops to combat clerical sex abuse. These flaws, it turns out, were deliberate — designed by serial sexual predator former Cdl. Theodore McCarrick (stripped of his red hat Saturday) and his allies in the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

In June 2002, in the wake of the sex abuse crisis exposed by The Boston Globe, as the U.S. bishops gathered in Dallas to hammer out protocols, then-Cdl. Theodore McCarrick presented himself as a leading voice of reform.

“This crisis is more important than any crisis we’ve had in my time,” he told The New York Times. “Our people are waiting for the bishops to say, OK, we’ve got it under control, we’re on the same page, we hear you and we’ve listened to you and now you can be sure that this will never happen again.”

In Texas, McCarrick became the architect of the “Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” referred to as the “Dallas Charter,” and the “Essential Norms for Diocesan/Eparchial Policies Dealing with Allegations of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Priests or Deacons,” which established provisions for accountability and transparency to better protect minors from predator priests.

But, together with allies among his brother bishops, McCarrick deliberately diluted the Dallas Charter and Essential Norms, apparently tailoring the documents to protect himself and others like him after decades of abusing seminarians.

In the original draft, the provisions bound all “clerics” — not just priests and deacons, but bishops as well. But that was changed.

In what is now being described as a “prescient moment,” during a review of amendments to the document, Abp. Elden Curtiss, then-head of the archdiocese of Omaha, spoke up, asking why the term “clerics” had been stricken from the text and replaced with “priests and deacons.”

“Bishops are also clerics,” Abp. Curtiss noted.

Bishop William Lori of Bridgeport, Connecticut (now archbishop of Baltimore) replied that the drafting committee “decided we would limit it to priests and deacons, as the disciplining of bishops is beyond the purview of this document.”

Church watchers point out that Lori’s claim was bogus. Bishops are bound by the same moral, civil and criminal laws that govern priests and deacons. The Dallas Charter was redesigned to exclude bishops from accountability, they say, precisely because the bishops wanted it that way.

With McCarrick’s serial sexual abuse of young men now public, the bishops have lost all credibility over their pledges of “reform” in Dallas. Writing in The Christian Review last week, Jason Kippen observed:

No doubt many, if not most, of the bishops who convened in the 2002 Dallas meeting knew that McCarrick had abused seminarians and young priests. Yet, the bishops sat there and said nothing while McCarrick held court on how to put an end to sexual abuse in the priesthood. The 2002 meeting, far from instigating much-needed healing in the Church, allowed the process to become a mockery of what was called for — true confession and repentance.

Another of the Dallas Charter’s grievous flaws is the fact that it offers people above age 18 no protection from sexual predation. The bishops introduced no norms to shield seminarians, young priests and others from abusers like McCarrick.

McCarrick with a group of seminarians

Nor was any attempt made to do so, even after payouts in 2005 and 2007 by the diocese of Metuchen and archdiocese of Newark to priests alleging McCarrick abused them during their time in seminary. After the settlements, the Dallas Charter remained untouched and McCarrick remained a cardinal.


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  1. Off topic…
    Who else is utterly sick of seeing the fat face of Laughing Boy Dolan, the shameless hypocrite, social climber and careerist shill?
    “The heart of the wise is where there is mourning, and the heart of fools where there is mirth.”
    Ecclesiastes 7:5

  2. This picture of the “laughing cardinals” is the perfect example of why the Church is in such dire straights today. I wonder if they’ll be laughing on Judgment Day. What a disgrace!

    • I deliberately searched for and added pictures of laughing cardinals and bishops to this and two other similar posts to make the point of the emptiness of their statements to clean up things after the McCarrick affair, which they knew of and covered up for many years!

      • A subliminal point, but the more well made for that.
        Now, maybe in future, whenever Laughing Boy’s face has to be shown, could it perhaps be fuzzed out to avoid provoking instantaneous nausea from all normal people (e.g. AQ readers)?
        It could become a running joke amongst us, and unlike Cardinal Dolt’n, we would be laughing for good reason.
        All right, it wouldn’t exactly be charitable, but I do think it would be just for us to have some amusement at his expense from time to time rather than him having it at ours all the time.
        The amount of suffering this evil man has caused won’t be fully imagined until the Last Judgment.

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