Catholic Church reform movement Voice of the Faithful, which supports survivors of clergy sexual abuse, is disappointed at the elevation of Bridgeport, Conn., Bishop William Lori to archbishop of Baltimore, which the Vatican announced today.
Although Bishop Lori in many ways has acted to shore up child-protection policies and institute reforms in those policies, on the question of transparency he has fallen short.
Bishop Lori has supported measures to protect children from clergy sexual abuse, has instituted child protection measures in his Bridgeport diocese and was a key participant in the drafting in 2002 of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ national Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. He also has apologized to those abused by priests.
Despite this, Lori for years opposed disclosure of sealed documents alleging clergy sexual abuse, refused to remove priests from ministry who lost civil suits in which the diocese paid settlements to victims and has been taken to task by SNAP (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) for not honoring his promises of full transparency about priests and deacons removed from ministry up to date.
“We will never rid our Church of the clergy sexual abuse scandal and all its effects until we have complete and total transparency and accountability,” said Mark Mullaney, VOTF president. “We do not think elevating clerics whose actions demonstrate a preference for secrecy is the proper road toward healing.”