From National Catholic Register:
Many bishops are now facing the reality that journalists know well: the vast majority of priests and seminarians, past and present, who experienced or saw adult sexual abuse by powerful clerics, were cowed into suffering in silence. The #MeToo seminarians and priests who have now come forward, amid the McCarrick scandal and coverup, have only just begun to open these bishops’ eyes to the horrific damage sexual predators and their enablers in chanceries, seminaries and the episcopate, have done to priestly formation and vocations.
Bishop James Checchio of Metuchen, New Jersey, joins a newly forming line of U.S. Catholic bishops who want independent specialists — outside their diocesan apparatus — to investigate #MeToo allegations. Bishop Checchio, who arrived in Metuchen two years ago, was previously rector for the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He is a successor to Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, who the bishop of Metuchen from 1982 to 1986, and revealed in June that diocesan records showed Archbishop McCarrick had sexually abused three adults, resulting in two settlements. In a column for The Catholic Spirit, Bishop Checchio reiterated his commitment to fight the abuse of minors, but turned his attention to fighting the sexual predation on priests and seminarians. His brother bishop, Edward Scharfenberger of Albany, New York, had condemned “spiritual fathers” who prey on their sons as nothing short of “incestuous,” and Bishop Michael Olson of Fort Forth, Texas, said laicization should be on the table for Archbishop McCarrick, and the enablers in the Church who allowed him to prey on minors, adults, and his own spiritual sons, must be found and punished.
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