Cardinal Cupich, one of the main organisers of the summit and a lead prelate of the delegation from the United States, emerged as an immediate proponent of the Vatican summit when, at the last minute, the Holy See blocked the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from pursuing its agenda to address sexual abuse at the groups meeting last November.
Cupich on Monday addressed the media that the Vatican sex abuse summit needs to be mainly focused on the protection of minors, underscoring that homosexuality is not a cause of sexual abuse, though there are calls for the church leaders to address questions of sexual misconduct with adults.
“What I think is important for people not only in Chicago but for the world to understand, especially in the Catholic world, is that the Holy Father wants to make very clear that, to the bishops around the world – not only those participating – that each one of them has to claim responsibility and ownership for this problem.” states Cardinal Cupich.
Cupich said it is important to recognise the fact that a high percentage of sex abuse involves “male on male sex abuse”, “homosexuality itself is not a cause, it is a matter of opportunity and also a matter of poor training on the part of people.”
Cupich wants to mainly focus on the minors, as he says: “but we are focusing in these days on those who have so little voice. Young people, minors don’t have a voice.”
The Vatican’s sex abuse summit is going to be held on February 21 – 24, they will focus on the themes of responsibility, accountability, and transparency. Cupich was selected by Pope Francis as a member of the organising committee for the conference on the worldwide protections of minors in the Church.
At a press conference on February 18, Cardinal Cupich said: “the pope is asking us to make sure that we focus on the task at hand, if in fact we being to inflate expectations by including other topics, then we are not going to achieve the goals.”
In November, the Vatican intervened in the meeting of US bishops to vote on a plan to address instances of episcopal sexual misconduct, which included the creation of a code of conduct for bishops, and the establishment of an independent lay-led team of experts charged with investigating allegations made against bishops.
Cupich said: “with regard to the November meeting in Baltimore among the bishops, it was clear – talking with the bishops beforehand even before we knew about this – that the proposal submitted by the bishops was problematic for many. I believe that it would not have received by 2/3rds vote anyway.”
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