Bishop Anthony B. Taylor issued this statement July 31 regarding former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
"On July 28 Pope Francis accepted the resignation from the College of Cardinals of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, the 88-year-old retired archbishop of Washington, D.C., and imposed upon him suspension from the exercise of any public ministry and the obligation to remain sequestered for a life of prayer and penance until the very credible accusations made against him are examined in a regular canonical trial. Pope Francis is clearly making good on his promise to hold everyone accountable, including bishops and even cardinals — and for that I am grateful. Archbishop McCarrick is the highest-ranking bishop ever to be removed over claims of abuse committed by him personally rather than simply mishandling or even concealing crimes of abuse committed by others, as was the case with the bishops of Chile and others. These tragic cases remind us that no one is above the law — neither civil law nor canon (Church) law. Please pray for all involved, especially the victims who continue to suffer deep wounds. Please also pray for those whose faith is shaken by sexual abuse committed by priests, bishops or cardinals. Ultimately our faith is in Jesus Christ and in his Church, not in any single priest, bishop or cardinal.
"I would also like to take this opportunity to remind all of us of the importance of the safe environment policies of our diocese and to invite any who have been abused by a priest or any other representative of the Church — even if in the distant past — to report the abuse to the State of Arkansas Hotline for Crimes Against Children at (800) 482-5964 and to then contact our victims assistance coordinator at (501) 664-0340, Ext. 425 or Deacon Matthew Glover, our chancellor for canonical affairs, at (501) 664-0340, Ext. 361. This information about reporting suspected abuse is also posted prominently in all of our parishes and schools. I am deeply concerned to see to it that we offer whatever assistance we can provide. Please know that if you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse by a priest or any other representative of the Church, the Diocese of Little Rock stands ready to offer assistance."
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