WEST MICHIGAN — Both the Diocese of Kalamazoo and the Diocese of Grand Rapids have issued statements in support of the Pope’s decision to dismiss former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.
Bishop Paul J. Bradley of the Diocese of Kalamazoo, who called the decision “just”, went on to laud the efforts of Pope Francis to end sexual abuse within the clergy. “…this unprecedented step…[and] an important step forward. It is also a significant demonstration that everyone, regardless of rank or status, is accountable…”
Bishop David J. Walkowiak, from the Diocese of Grand Rapids, tells FOX 17 he “stand[s] in solidarity with our Holy Father in his decision to dismiss … McCarrick,” adding that any person holding positions of power in the Church must be held accountable and stated “The Church must continue to seek forgiveness for its previous actions and I pray that this decision will provide a source of healing to the former Archbishop’s victim-survivors.”
Both Bishops encourage anyone who has been or is a victim of abuse to contact the authorities, both within their church or Diocese, and from outside resources.
An investigation performed by the Vatican found that former Archbishop McCarrick was guilty of sexual misconduct and had been using the confessional to solicit sex.
The Pope will be holding an international summit to address protecting minors in the Catholic Church. Leaders from The Church will converge on Vatican City from February 21st to 24th.
Survivors wishing to come forward should contact Kalamazoo’s Sexual Misconduct Question and Reporting Line (877) 802-0115. In Grand Rapids, survivors should contact The Grand Rapids Diocese Victim Assistance Coordinator at (616) 243-0491. All survivors are encouraged to call their Diocese, local law enforcement, or both.