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President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Issues Statement at Close of Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church

ROME—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement on the final day of a four day meeting attended by Presidents of Bishops’ Conferences from across the globe.  

Cardinal DiNardo’s full statement follows:

"The Lord is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth." Psalm 145:18

"These have been challenging, fruitful days. The witness of survivors revealed for us, again, the deep wound in the Body of Christ. Listening to their testimonies transforms your heart. I saw that in the faces of my brother bishops. We owe survivors an unyielding vigilance that we may never fail them again.

How then to bind the wounds? Intensify the Dallas Charter. Pope Francis, whom I want to thank for this assembly, called us to ‘concrete and effective measures.’ A range of presenters from cardinals to other bishops to religious sisters to lay women spoke about a code of conduct for bishops, the need to establish specific protocols for handling accusations against bishops, user-friendly reporting mechanisms, and the essential role transparency must play in the healing process.  

Achieving these goals will require the active involvement and collaboration of the laity. The Church needs their prayers, expertise, and ideas. As we have learned from diocesan review boards, a comprehensive range of skills is required to assess allegations and to ensure that local policies and procedures are regularly reviewed so that our healing response continues to be effective. All of the models discussed this week rely upon the good help of God’s people.

I and the bishops of the United States felt affirmed in the work that is underway. Enhanced by what I experienced here, we will prepare to advance proposals, in communion with the Holy See, in each of these areas so that my brother bishops can consider them at our June General Assembly. There is an urgency in the voice of the survivors to which we must always respond. I am also aware that our next steps can be a solid foundation from which to serve also seminarians, religious women, and all those who might live under the threat of sexual abuse or the abuse of power.

In our faith, we experience the agony of Good Friday. It can cause a sense of isolation and abandonment, but the Resurrection is God’s healing promise. In binding the wounds now before us, we will encounter the Risen Lord. In Him alone is all hope and healing.

May I also add a sincere word of thanks to the many who prayed for me and for all that this meeting be a success."
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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Pope Francis, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church, Vatican, Holy See, survivors, Dallas Charter, laity,
bishop conduct, June General Assembly, sex abuse, abuse of power, Good Friday, Resurrection, Risen Lord, prayer, wounds, healing

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Ash Wednesday Collection to Support the Catholic Church in Central and Eastern Europe

WASHINGTON— The annual special Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe will be taken up in most dioceses on Ash Wednesday, March 6, 2019. The funds collected are used to support seminaries, youth ministry, social service programs, pastoral centers, church construction and renovation, and Catholic communications projects in 28 counties in Central and Eastern Europe.

“As we embark on our Lenten journey it is a fitting time to remember our sisters and brothers in Central and Eastern Europe, who are working to restore the Church and build the future after decades of oppression,” said Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, Bishop of Steubenville and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. “I thank the American faithful for their support. As a Paschal people, we help bring God’s consolation and the hope of rebirth when we extend our generosity to those in need.”

In 2017, the Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe awarded over $9 million through more than 300 grants. Among projects recently supported is the construction of a Catholic youth center in a remote part of Georgia, helping to form a new generation of disciples.

The Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe (CCEE) oversees the collection and an annual grant program as part of the USCCB Committee on National Collections. More information about the collection, including detailed information about who it supports and how the funds are distributed, can be found at www.usccb.org/ccee. People who live in dioceses that do not participate in the collection or who wish to give directly can learn how to give here.

Tetiana Stawnychy, Director of the Collection for the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, is available for media interviews.

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Keywords: United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, seminaries, youth ministry, social service programs, pastoral centers, church construction, renovation, Catholic communications projects

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

Pope Francis Names Bishop Boris Gudziak as Archbishop of the Ukrainian Archeparchy of Philadelphia

WASHINGTON—Pope Francis has named Bishop Boris Gudziak as archbishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Bishop Gudziak, 58, currently serves as bishop of the Ukrainian Eparchy of Saint Vladimir-le Grand de Paris in France.

The appointment was publicized in Washington on February 18, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Gudziakwas born November 24, 1960 in Syracuse, New York. He was ordained on November 26, 1998 by Bishop Sofron Mudry O.S.B.M.He was ordained a bishop in Franceon August 26, 2012.

Bishop Gudziak holds a duel bachelor’s degree in philosophy and biology (1980) from Syracuse University, a degree in theology (1983) from the Pontifical Urban Universityin Rome, and a Ph.D., in Slavic and Byzantine Cultural History (1992) from Harvard University.

Post-ordination assignments include: vice rector of the Lviv Theological Academy, rector of the Lviv Theological Academy, and rector and president of the Ukrainian Catholic University.

The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia includes the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and parts of eastern Pennsylvania. It has a total Catholic population of 67,250. The Archeparchy has been sede vacante since April 2018.

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Keywords: bishop appointment, Pope Francis, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio, Bishop Boris Gudziak, Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, Ukrainian Eparchy of Saint Vladimir-le Grand de Paris

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Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

President of U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Issues Statement on Theodore McCarrick in Response to Judgement by the Holy See

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has issued the following statement upon the decision of the Holy See announced today regarding Theodore McCarrick.

Cardinal DiNardo’s Full Statement Follows:

“The Holy See’s announcement regarding Theodore McCarrick is a clear signal that abuse will not be tolerated. No bishop, no matter how influential, is above the law of the Church. For all those McCarrick abused, I pray this judgement will be one small step, among many, toward healing. For us bishops, it strengthens our resolve to hold ourselves accountable to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am grateful to Pope Francis for the determined way he has led the Church’s response.

If you have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of someone within the Catholic Church, I urge you to contact local law enforcement and your local diocese or eparchy. Victims Assistance Coordinators are available to help. We are committed to healing and reconciliation.”

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Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, Pope Francis, Holy See, Theodore McCarrick, sexual abuse, local law enforcement, Victim Assistance Coordinators, Church response

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Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200

President of U.S. Bishops’ and Chairman of Bishop’s Committee on Migration Respond to President’s Order to Fund Construction of Border Wall

WASHINGTON—Today President Trump announced that he will issue an order stating his intention to make use of funds previously appropriated for other purposes to fund the construction of a border wall at the U.S./Mexico border that Congress has refused to fund. Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, issued the following joint statement:

“We are deeply concerned about the President’s action to fund the construction of a wall along the U.S./Mexico border, which circumvents the clear intent of Congress to limit funding of a wall. We oppose the use of these funds to further the construction of the wall. The wall first and foremost is a symbol of division and animosity between two friendly countries. We remain steadfast and resolute in the vision articulated by Pope Francis that at this time we need to be building bridges and not walls.”

Media Contact:
Judy Keane
202-541-3200

 

U.S. Bishops’ Chairmen Condemn Decision Preventing Muslim Man from Receiving Appropriate Spiritual Care at Execution

WASHINGTON–On February 7, 2019, the State of Alabama executed Domineque Ray, a Muslim man whose request to have an imam present at his execution was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court by a vote of 5-4. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Chairman of the USCCB Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Frank J. Dewane of Venice, Chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, have issued a statement, which reads:

“The execution of Domineque Ray deeply troubles us. The death penalty itself is an affront to human dignity, and the Church has long called for its abolition in the United States and around the world. Mr. Ray bore the further indignity of being refused spiritual care in his last moments of life, in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and Alabama law. This unjust treatment is disturbing to people of all faiths, whether Muslim, Christian, Jewish, or otherwise. People deserve to be accompanied in death by someone who shares their faith. It is especially important that we respect this right for religious minorities. As Pope Francis said during his recent trip to the United Arab Emirates, ‘What we are called to do as believers is to commit ourselves to the equal dignity of all.’ Let us make this commitment today.”

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Keywords: Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, Bishop Frank Dewane, USCCB, Domineque Ray, Supreme Court, death penalty, religious liberty, religious freedom, First Amendment, U.S. Constitution

Media Contact:

Judy Keane

202-541-3200