Many of us watched the speech you delivered via video at the “Religion, Faith, and Flourishing” symposium about the sexual abuse of children. We recognize that you represented our Church at this important event, as the highest-ranking prelate to address the conference.
In your speech, you claimed that “the voice of the sex-abuse survivor must be our Church’s true north.” You extolled your own virtues as a bishop and the excellence of the administrative apparatus of your archdiocesan corporation. And you singled-out one of your predecessors, Joseph Bernardin, as a hero.
You went on to say, “Imagine if all the bishops had followed Bernardin, how much further ahead we would be in preventing abuse and punishing offenders, how many children might have been spared.”
In 1993, Mr. Steven Cook accused Bernardin, as well as another priest, then-Father Ellis Harsham, of sexual abuse. In your speech for the symposium, you solely recounted Bernardin’s version of the events surrounding that accusation, and you neglected to mention important statements by others.