Grassroots group demands “forthright, truthful answers” from Bishop McElroy

Concerned Catholics of San Diego was formed in reaction to sex abuse scandal

Concerned Catholics of San Diego asserts that Bishop McElroy never acted on the 2016 letter he received from Richard Sipe (above), which warned of a correlation between sexual behavior of clerics in authority and the sexual abuse of children. (Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego U-T)

“Acting with urgency and with purpose,” local Catholic lay leaders have launched Concerned Catholics of San Diego (CCSD), a grassroots initiative spearheaded by attorney Charles LiMandri.

The first order of business: Seek “truthful answers” from San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy about the sex-abuse crisis.

“The Catholic Church, including here in San Diego, is facing an unprecedented crisis,” said LiMandri. “We believe the time is now to mobilize the lay Catholic community in San Diego to bring renewal to the Church.”

In a detailed letter delivered to Bishop McElroy today, CCSD members sought answers, for example, about what concrete steps will the Bishop take “to meaningfully include the laity in the process of purification and reform of the Church hierarchy that will include accountability, transparency and an emphasis on maintaining clerical celibacy.”

A particular concern is a 2016 letter Bishop McElroy received from A.W. Richard Sipe, a leading researcher of the sexual and celibate practices of Catholic bishops and priests.  In the letter, Sipe tells McElroy: “Sooner or later it will become broadly obvious that there is a systemic connection between the sexual activity by, among and between clerics in positions of authority and control, and the abuse of children.” McElroy never acted on Sipe’s warnings.

CCSD has also launched a petition drive to publicly demand that Bishop McElroy answer the questions in the group’s letter.

“We are devastated by the evil that has spread throughout the Church,” LiMandri said. “But we are also hopeful that this tragedy will bring about an extraordinary spiritual renewal not only among the clergy but the whole Church.”

From press release.


  1. Steve Seitz says:

    Given that the Second Vatican Council rightfully emphasized the dignity of the laity through its participation in the Royal Priesthood of Jesus Christ, and

    given that Pope Francis, himself, has said that a central cause of the child molestation crisis is due to clericalism,

    I don’t think Bishop McElroy has much standing to deny this request. The Council and the words of the Pope align against him.

  2. I believe CCSD should have formed about fifteen years ago, when the sex abuse crisis first became well known.
    Then there would have been questions asked of Bishop Brom as well as Bishop McElroy.

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is the wrong way to go about it.
    The most effective thing that you can do is to write the Bishop with your concerns on your own.
    Don’t be part of a grassroots movement or an organized campaign.
    This is going to hurt not help.
    These things negate genuine, sincere communication with parishioners who are upset.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      I would agree with you if we’re dealing with a bishop of good faith. But we’re at this point because a lot of bishops are not operating with good faith. Or, certain bishops operate with good faith but are not competent to be bishops.

      Either way, your technique is dated and without merit for 2018.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone makes mistakes. There are times when we need to apprise a superior that he or she is making a mistake. How you do it matters.
      Gathering signatures to pressure someone into doing something you want is just a power play and it is beneath the dignity of a Christian.
      Writing a respectful letter asking for something you want is OK but you need to accept that he has the right to say no.
      If what you want is righteous and is the Lord’s will, one letter is enough.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous at 1:23 PM: In this case, I disagree. People have been writing to the ishops with their concerns about the child sex abuse scandal since the 1990s, at least. It hasn’t done much good.

    We live in a community of believers, so when the leaders of that community sin against the larger community, the community should have a mechanism for redress of grievances, and that can’t happen by a letter writing campaign. IMHO

  5. St. Christopher says:

    Actually, “Anonymous,” you are wrong regarding the Francis Wing of the Catholic NewChurch. They are not like prior administrations of the Church; they respond to embarrassment and to numbers. The goal is always not to diminish their power (as they see themselves as a political, not a religious, unit). B. McElroy is a homosexualist and is already complicit in covering up homosexual priest predations (that is, absent exculpatory proof).

    The Answer: keep pounding, and with the biggest gorilla around. You are ignored otherwise.

  6. V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Franciscum.
    R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3]

    V. Let us pray for Francis, our Pope.
    R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

  7. Anybody else feel that the lib bishops are standing in front of the Holy Father, who himself should be speaking and addressing the issue? This is about deflection (“Let them yell at me Holy Father”) when in fact “the issue” persists with Francis’ (tacit? actual?) endorsement.

    Anybody else read of the “drug filled gay orgy” hosted on Church Property by Coccopalmerio in the summer of 2017 (LifesiteNews Oct 10, 2018) which Francis knew about because it was his close friend?

    Much as the lib bishops are a problem, Francis must answer. The local bishop/actions are a distraction.

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you not know how the Church works?
      Every bishop is the head of his diocese. The bishop of Rome is the Pope. He is the head of the Church but he is not the head of the other diocese.

      • False.It is YOU who does not know how the church works. Bishops are not regional popes, nor are they a collective of leadership.

        The buck stops with (the now ducking) Pope Francis.

        • Anonymous says:

          The section of the Catechism is too long for the comment section here. It is CCC 880-896. God bless you. Come Holy Spirit.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “at the head of which he (Jesus) placed Peter.”

    Clean your lenses and go read again.

  9. Hope that this would not create any retaliation and confusion.

  10. We are long past playing nice with our vain & overproud bishops. That approach might have been useful 10 & 15 years ago, but now we the faithful, discovered to much about our clergy. Object lessons are called for. Even now our bishops are handling this crisis as if it were a human resources dilemma. No Bishop has gotten down on his knees, in sake cloth &
    ashes, before the Eucharist & his people, pleading for forgiveness & guidance. When they do, then healing will begin.

  11. How does the lay Catholic community bring about renewal when, in Catholic culture, lay people usually defer to the clergy?

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