NewsLocal NewsGrand Rapids


Dioceses of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo respond to Vatican report

Posted at 4:08 PM, Nov 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-10 16:08:05-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Diocese of Grand Rapids issued a statement Tuesday in response to a report from the Vatican about a former cardinal accused of abuse.

Their statement says the fact that allegations "weren't disclosed and not acted upon for decades" has done "incalculable harm to people's lives and has undermined confidence in church leadership."

Bishop David Walkowiak went on to renew his apologies and prayers for victims of abuse.

Read the full statement from the Diocese of Grand Rapids:

Our Holy Father fulfills a request from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) by releasing the McCarrick report. The report reveals a serious moral failure within the Church by bishops and other Church leaders. No matter their title, perpetrators must be held accountable for any actions that cause harm to those most vulnerable in our communities. The fact that Theodore McCarrick’s abusive behavior remained undisclosed and not acted upon for decades has done incalculable harm to people’s lives and has undermined confidence in Church leadership even more. While I have not yet been able to study the report in detail, I hope this report reveals why allegations against McCarrick were not disclosed when they were first brought to the attention of Church officials; why it took so long to address this situation; and who promoted the former cardinal and covered up for his misbehavior. I am grateful to Pope Francis for ordering a thorough investigation of the McCarrick scandal and for issuing this final report so that the truth of the matter can be brought to light. As a bishop of the Catholic Church, I renew my profound apologies to all those who have suffered abuse in the Church. I renew my prayers and support for your recovery and healing. May the publication of this report confront the truth of what happened and bring some measure of peace to victim-survivors as well as show how to further the work of the Church in preventing any recurrences of this type in the future.

The Diocese of Kalamazoo also issued a statement in response to the report Tuesday.

Bishop Paul J. Bradley assured members of the Diocese that they've taken steps to prevent abuse.

Read the full statement from the Diocese of Kalamazoo:

“As we receive the Vatican’s report on its investigation into former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, and try to understand all that it contains, we confront once again the tragedy of sin’s devastating impact even on those within the hierarchy of the Church. I reaffirm my request for all of us to unite together in prayer especially for those who are survivors of clergy sexual abuse. Let us continue our diligent efforts to do everything we can to protect all God’s children and to root out the evil and sin of sexual abuse, especially among those raised to ordained ministry. In our diocese we continue to train and background check all our volunteers, more than 15,000 to date, since the adoption of the Charter for the Protection of Young People. We remain undeterred in our efforts even in the face of the pandemic and offer those trainings online. We continue to encourage anyone with information to contact the Michigan Attorney General’s hotline number: 844-324-3374
“I join with the Catholic community as we mourn the sin that infects even people of such high profile in the Church, and the many other problems that have been revealed in the report that will cause us grief. However we must grieve with hope, always returning to Jesus’ mission in which He has called us to share. These are the moments when we need to refocus on the meaning of our faith in our Savior who through His glorious Resurrection---won victory for all of us. May we continue, even in the face of collective heartache at our human failings, to find solace in the eternal Truths of Jesus, which His Church proclaims.”