Aug 10, 2018 8:19 AM - 1 week, 3 days, 19 hours, 25 minutes, 10 seconds ago
Metuchen bishop 'saddened and ashamed' by Archbishop McCarrick case
Aug 10, 2018 CONTRIBUTOR
Bishop James F. Checchio of Metuchen, N.J., is seen during the annual 2016 fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore. Checchio announced Aug. 7 he is bringing together a senior team of advisers to examine the diocese's processes for reporting abuse. (Credit: Bob Roller/CNS.)
Metuchen Bishop James F. Checchio told Catholics in his diocese Aug. 7 he continues "to be saddened and ashamed" by reports of "the abhorrent events we have been learning about in regard to Archbishop McCarrick -- and I know you must be, too."
METUCHEN, New Jersey — Metuchen Bishop James F. Checchio told Catholics in his diocese Aug. 7 he continues “to be saddened and ashamed” by reports of “the abhorrent events we have been learning about in regard to Archbishop McCarrick — and I know you must be, too.”
He was referring to allegations of abuse and sexual misconduct lodged at Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick, a former cardinal and retired archbishop of Washington, who was named the first bishop of the newly created Metuchen Diocese in 1981.
Checchio, who has been Metuchen’s bishop for just over two years, made the comments in an open letter posted on his diocese’s website.
“Our efforts to evangelize, and spread the good news of Christ, have been hobbled by these atrocities,” he said.
“I am praying for all those who have been hurt and praying that God’s mercy will bring healing and consolation. My heart also breaks for our faithful people, and the clergy and religious of our diocese, as we face another tragic situation within the church that we love,” the bishop continued.
“Nonetheless, I am grateful that the processes the church has in place regarding child sexual abuse have been shown to work.”
Checchio said the case of McCarrick “demonstrates that the culture of the church is changing and that no one is exempt from its censure — regardless of a person’s rank or status, or the number of years that have passed since an incident occurred.”
He emphasized that he continues to anyone who has been abused to report the situation to law enforcement officials. “The diocese stands poised and ready to help any who have been abused,” the bishop added.
He said he is also working to address “how we can ensure that similar abuses, especially of seminarians or young priests, would not happen again, particularly by those in positions of authority over them.”
Former seminarians have accused McCarrick of sexual abuse and harassment.
Checchio said he has begun “to bring together a senior team of advisers to examine reporting processes.”
“Clearly, the safety of an independent reporting structure that allows for anyone to bring an allegation forward without the fear of retribution of any kind is needed,” he said.
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