Cardinal Wuerl proposes panel to investigate rumors against bishops

Would consist of fellow bishops, who would report findings to Rome for final action

Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington, and Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington, concelebrate a Mass of thanksgiving in 2010 in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

The US bishops’ conference should consider setting up a panel to investigate rumours against fellow bishops, Cardinal Donald Wuerl has suggested.

Speaking to National Catholic Reporter, the Archbishop of Washington also said the Vatican could ask one of its offices to investigate the panel’s findings.

“If there were [rumours], and if people heard them, there needs to be some mechanism by which there can be at least an evaluation and review of them,” the cardinal said.

The panel could then pass its findings to the Vatican, who would take the decision on whether to act against the accused.

His comments come as the US Church grapples with mounting allegations against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, Cardinal Wuerl’s predecessor in Washington.

Bishop Timothy Doherty of Lafayette said the bishops’ conference should considering hiring an outside investigator to find out “who knew what, and when” about McCarrick.

Full story at Catholic Herald.


  1. St. Christopher says:

    Absolutely not. Recall, Dear Catholics, that it was Cardinal McCarrick who was the designated face of the Church (by JPII) to respond to the cascading accusations of sexual misconduct against Catholic clergy. A large contingent of Catholic cardinals and bishops, perhaps well over one-half, are now reported to be homosexuals (or were) or are otherwise homosexual enablers. Just look at the disgraceful language about the purported “gifts” of homosexuals (?for what, committing serial sodomy?) at the 2014 Synod.

    What is needed is a simple investigation. Then sentencing of the guilty by their removal from the clergy. All of them. Immediately upon sentencing.

  2. I may agree in part. The Church needs a panel like this. However, for credibility, the panel MUST have several independent, highly qualified LAY members. I would even suggest the lay members wear police whistles to panel meetings. After objective investigation, and proper Church and/or civil legal proceedings, if convicted the Bishop immediately is defrocked.
    Maybe I’m nieve, but such a panel, had it existed fifty years ago, would have saved the Church billions and the Bishops their collective credibility.

  3. Innominato says:

    Is it time for the Laity to take action? What kind of action? Oh,well, we will hold hands and pray together. Wait a minute, we have been doing that for the last 20 or 30 years. Two of my classmates from a Catholic grammar schoo who entered the Priesthoosl were effeminate mamma’s boys (read Homosexual) and they both served a sentence in California State Prison system for molesting young males. In my Catholic High School, four of my classmates went into the priesthood. One of them was an effeminate mamma’s boy. He turned out to be one of the most Homosexual predators of young boys in our…

    • Innominato says:

      My Post was Edited and the important points omitted.
      I would like the Laity to send in suggestions on the proper course of action so thzt we can eliminate action by Bishops, priests, etc. The time is now for the Laity to rise up and take action.

      • Innominato says:

        My comments were edited. The high school classmate referred to above was about to be arrested for sexually abusing young males in his parish; however, he was tipped off by our Homosexual Archbishop so he fled to Mexico where he continued to abuse young boys. Incidentally, our Archbishop was living with his male partner in the Archdiocese. His scandal was too much so he retired. Will you bloggers cut out your philosophical and theological rhetoric.

  4. With all due respect to the Abp…These guys are really living on another planet if they think that a panel of bishops reporting to Rome have a scintilla of credibility with this anymore. That ship has sailed. The breathtaking reality from his comments in the story is that even Wuerl seems totally oblivious to what level of credibility the US bishops have fallen in the laity’s eyes. We’re not really impressed by Rome either. I doubt canon law would allow for it, but a panel of “prominent” credible, devout and well meaning Catholic laymen with families might be a better idea.

    • St. Christopher says:

      Well said, “Chardin.” A panel of bishops will do only three things: (1) take forever to initiate; (2) take forever to complete; and (3) result in a blaming of certain “rogue” clerics, like McCarrick, rather than coming to a meaningful conclusion of exposing the level of homosexual influence in the Church. A panel that focuses on McCarrick, in fact, is already a failure. What is needed is identification and action, immediate action, to clean out the seminaries, restore Catholic teachings and Tradition, and elimination of homosexuals from the clergy. Without this, the institutional Church will continue to fail.

    • Lou Varini says:
  5. William Robert says:

    It’s about time! My Catholic friends are leaving the Church in droves! Some out of fear for the safety of their children and grandchildren; others because the scandals and hypocrisy has resulted in the conclusion that the Christian Churches are corrupt and have no moral legitimacy anymore.

  6. Linda Maria says:

    Cardinal Wuerl is a sad laugh. The Church’s hierarchy has for too long, evilly protected its criminal clerics! The terrible evils of sin, and the holiness of God—- have little meaning for them! They have such little respect for God! Worthless clerics— wolves in sheep’s clothing! And filthy gay sex cesspools, in their seminaries!

    • Lou Varini says:

      It is like having a fox guard the henhouse.

      The most appalling thing is that Cdl. Wuerl thinks the laity is stupid!

  7. Read the backlash the Cardinal is getting for his proposal. Even Bishops around the country are calling for Lay Commissions to investigate other Bishops. We need to start with one basic thought: Bishops have not credible moral authority recognized by lay people when it comes to people like Archbishop McCarrick. McCarrick needs to be drummed out of the priesthood, at least. Any other Bishop who knew about his proclivities and didn’t report it to legal authorities needs to be ousted from the priesthood for their complicity. Lay commissions need to not only report their findings to the Vatican, but to local police authorities. In the real world, people who prey on others are reported to the police for investigation. It’s time to clean house!

  8. The Pope accepted Cardinal McCarrick’s resignation as a member of the College of Cardinals but left him with the title of Archbishop. To consider that an appropriate punishment shows how much Church leadership is out of touch with the people. Why wasn’t he stripped of his priesthood? Why wasn’t he sent to a monastery while he awaited trial and was then sent to jail? How long do we have to wait for the Bishops to clean up their act? How long before the laity say “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore?”

    • St. Christopher says:

      Hard to believe but I am agreeing with you, “Bob One.” Time for all of them to go and now.

      Secondly, someone must focus on Pope Francis (who we must pray for) and what he is doing. It is Francis that sets the permissive tone in the Vatican that embolden his staff and the permanent Curia. These people, too, must be held to account. In fact, a Holy Fire pretty much needs to gut the Vatican. Francis answers to God, but he has done little to suggest his concern is to assist his Church to continue to light the way toward salvation. He needs to find the Church’s Tradition, and kneel at Mass every time!

      • Danielle says:

        You are correct. Fish smells from the head. Does anyone even remember anymore this Pope’s “Who am I to judge” in answer to a question about promoting an openly homosexual priest.

    • Linda Maria says:

      LOVED your two excellent posts, Bob One! These are the same thoughts as mine!

  9. Sol Casey says:

    To Cdl. Wuerl amd the rest of the USCCB:


    You and your cabal have neither the training nor inclination to get to yhe truth and swiftly act!

  10. But a lay panel (with the correct credentials and backgrounds) to investigate bishops is only the beginning. At least as important is a thorough examination of all North American seminaries by a similarly qualified lay panel. This inevitably would mean closure of some seminaries for a time, but the faithful need to get used to the idea of traveling some distance for Mass or less than weekly Mass and sacraments. It would mean a smaller Church for a time, but a far more intentional one.

    • Lou Varini says:

      You expressed the longer-term implications quite validly. The Church, through the ordained clergy, is the only place for Catholics to obtain valid and licit Sacraments. As a result, it may be more difficult for the faithful. However, if this is the case, valid Sacraments can also be obtained from parishes from the twenty-two other Eastern Catholic Rites.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      . . . And if the lay panel finds a substantial gay subcultural in a seminary, the archbishop of that seminary needs to be immediately removed from office for either collusion or incompetence.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Nos vos non creditis

    • Anonymous says:

      Incorrect Latin: should be “Non vos credimus.” It means “We do not believe you (plural).” That would be if your message is directed at more than one person. If your message is directed at Cardinal Weurl alone, then the Latin should be “Non te credimus.” “We do not believe you (singular).”

      If you are expressing your own opinion, it would be “Non vos/te credo.” “I do not believe you (plural/singular).”

      What you wrote means “You do not believe us.” You used the second person plural form of the verb credo instead of the first person plural.

  12. Anonymous says:

    The last people I want to try to fix the problem are the ones who are protecting homosexual molesters. We will have to take matters into our own hands. Police raids, prosecutions, mass arrests, and mass incarcerations are necessary. It is a complete waste of time to work through Church channels. It is time we start demanding our civil authorities take action. It is time for us to start stirring up trouble and take our Church back from the Sodomites. If we have to run over corrupt religious leaders, so be it. They have no right to protect homosexual molesters from justice.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Time for a lay-run and controlled Catholic agency to pay private investigators to uncover anything and everything they can about each and every bishop and high-ranking chancery official, clergy or lay. Get all the dirty laundry out there that the bishops are hiding, let it hit the fan. Then rebuild.

  14. Thanks Fox, for offering to investigate the Hen House.

    The Church has a problem – homosexuals have infiltrated the priesthood and hierarchy and many do not lead celibate lives. Their antics have cost the Church millions, and they have destroyed countless lives. There are serious reasons to keep homosexuals from entering seminaries. We are looking at what happens when sound rules are disregarded.

  15. Dorene Paradiso-Carroll says:

    A panel of Bishops cannot be credible and would never be in the eyes of the faithful or the public. There is too much cover up going on with in the order of Bishops and has been for far too long. They do not seem to want to get rid of the internal problems. Been tried and has not worked. This is disgraceful, shameful and hurtful to our Church. One does not know, who to trust anymore. I agree with Raymond Arroyo on EWTN and his papal posse of Father Gerald Murray (canon law expert), Robert Royal and Bill Donahue. Their insight and expertise is most valuable in helping to solve and put an end to this sinful practice within our Church. All of the deceitfully guilty need to be cleared and cleaned out. We need to investigate and clean out…

  16. Michael Mcdermott says:

    “Bishops. We need to start with one basic thought: ”

    The purging of the ranks, from Cardinal to Altar Server, of the entire Lavender Mafia

    Shouldn’t be that difficult, as Church Teaching and Tradition make it perfectly clear that such Behaviors are Entirely Objectively Disordered and their promotion an Intrinsic Evil.

  17. mchicha wacheza says:

    Cardinal Wuerl is proposing a cover up.

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