The Catholic Church in the midst of a historical crisis because of the scandals of sexual abuse of minors, no longer has any margin of reaction to these types of issues.
This Thursday the Pope, the day he met with the leaders of the Church in the United States for that reason, has opened an investigation against another alleged abuser in that country.
In this case, it is the bishop of West Virginia, Michael J. Bransfield, accused of harassing men of legal age. Francisco has accepted his resignation voluntary, since he turned 75 years old and ordered the opening of investigations that will determine the extent of the abuses and the link that Bransfield had with Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, forced to resign in July on a similar matter.
Coincidentally, Bransfield’s cousin was in the four-member entourage that he dispatched with the Pope.
The conservative church in the United States, which aspired to gain power and influence and place one of its cardinals among the next papables, is deeply touched by the scandals of abuses and only now aspires to total regeneration. Between 1950 and 2015, according to the National Catholic Reporter, 4,000 million dollars (about 3,421 million euros) in compensation have been spent to silence the complaints of the victims.
To the tremendous scandal of Boston, added this summer the list of 1,000 victims revealed by the report of the grand jury of Pennsylvania and the cases of abuse of seminarians by McCarrick, to whom the Pope removed the biretta cardinal in an unusual decision in the last 80 years.
The resignation of Bransfield, despite being voluntary, would not have been accepted so quickly if it were not for the scandal of events dating back to 2007 and for which he had already witnessed in court
The Bishop of Baltimore, William Lori, will temporarily replace Bransfield and will be responsible for receiving more complaints. In fact, it has already opened a telephone line so that other cases can be presented and the investigation, which could uncover another great scandal, continues its course.
The news came just as the leadership of this Church accompanied by the Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean O’Malley visited the Pontiff to address the issue and present a supposed regeneration plan.
The most unusual thing is that among the four members of the delegation was Monsignor Brian Bransfield, secretary general of the US Episcopal Conference and direct cousin of the bishop investigated. One more symptom of the interweaving that has allowed for years of coverage of so many abuses.
The meeting was long and fruitful, according to the attendees. And as usual, there was only a brief statement from the US Episcopal Conference where the violin rang and there was no trace of the investigation that its president, Daniel DiNardo, had announced he would ask the Vatican about his alleged knowledge of the abuses of McCarrick since 2000.
We are very grateful to the Holy Father for having received us at this hearing, and we shared with Pope Francis our situation in the United States, how the body of Christ is lacerated by the devil of sexual abuse. deep in his heart, it was an extensive, fruitful and positive exchange. The exchange now expected will become a deep purification of responsibilities.