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Vatican abuse meeting: Card. Cupich (Chicago), “collective and decisive action”

(Foto Siciliani-Gennari/SIR)

(from New York) Archbishop Blase Cupich of Chicago expects a “collective” and “decisive” action to follow the meeting on the protection of minors that will be held at the Vatican on 21-24 February. The cardinal is one of the four members of the Preparatory Committee and is extremely confident about the actions that will be implemented after the meeting, not only in Rome but in all dioceses worldwide. In an interview with “America” magazine, Card. Cupich stressed the twofold purpose of the meeting: it will serve both “as a catechesis and formation for bishops and the superiors of religious orders” and “to advance a framework of protocols” for the protection of minors which would identify the concrete steps required to “safeguard children” and “bring justice to victims”. “The shape and dimensions of this problem differ from country to country, due to social, legal and cultural differences”, the cardinal continued, insisting on the need for collective analysis and action. Many people in the US wonder if this meeting will result in a concrete response to the problem. Card. Cupich did not downplay the scope of the event, maintaining that “while the Church has been addressing this problem for more than 20 years, there has never been a worldwide meeting of bishops on abuse”. Indeed, the purpose of the meeting will be to set out criteria to enhance cooperation so that bishops and religious superiors may not feel alone when addressing abuse “even in cultures where law enforcement or the government may not be reliable partners” in ensuring transparency and accountability. To those who wonder whether this meeting will be decisive for Pope Francis’ pontificate, the cardinal said: “It is not a question of what is at stake for the pontificate of Pope Francis, but what is at stake for the Church”. To those who accuse Pope Francis of speaking out strongly but not acting as forcefully, the Archbishop of Chicago explained that the Pontiff “has acknowledged and apologized for his mistakes, itself an important action, and a model for all bishops”. His action as in the case of the bishops of Chile, when he accepted their resignation en bloc, speaks volumes about Bergoglio’s stance on “a global problem that requires a global response” and “wants all the bishops and religious superiors to be on the same page”.

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