DiNardo praises abuse survivors for speaking out, as U.S. bishops begin fall meeting
BALTIMORE - In his final remarks as president of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo encouraged the U.S. Church to continue to press ahead in the fight against clergy abuse and in defense of migrants and unborn human life.
DiNardo began his remarks on Monday at the start of the general assembly of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) by recalling several highlights of his time as president of the conference over the past three years.
Among the stories he recounted were those of visiting a border detention center and seeing the hand drawn pictures of Jesus and Mary made by children separated from their families, the work of crisis pregnancy centers across the country, and meeting with clergy abuse survivors.
“When too many within the Church sought to keep them in the darkness, they refused to be relegated to the shadows,” DiNardo said.
The 70-year-old prelate, who is the archbishop of Galveston-Houston, was elected as head of the U.S. bishops in November 2016, and nearly half of that time has been dominated by the latest wave of clergy abuse scandals.
On Monday, he praised the outspoken and tireless efforts of abuse survivors, saying “their witness brought help to countless fellow survivors. It fueled the resolve of my brother bishops to respond with pastoral support and prevention programs.”
He then spoke about Pope Francis, saying that that he has “ushered in a new era of bishop accountability with a worldwide standard for investigating wrongdoing, protecting whistleblowers, and serving survivors.”
DiNardo said that the new protocols adopted by the U.S. bishops in June - where the bishops voted to enact standards for holding bishops accountable that include lay involvement - were a sign of a “renewed striving” from the Church hierarchy, b...