Cardinal Blase Cupich has released a statement that NBC 5 aired a misleading report on our Monday night newscast. Cupich's full statement is below.
Our report included the Cardinal’s reaction to a memo by the former Vatican ambassador to the United States, critical of the Pope’s response to sexual abuse by priests.
This is the statement Cardinal Cupich took issue with:
"The Pope has a bigger agenda. He's got to get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the church. We're not going to go down a rabbit hole on this."
We believe our story to be accurate in that Cardinal Cupich was referring to the memo about sexual abuse allegations in question.
The Cardinal was making a point that until accusations are verified, the Pope shouldn’t respond.
NBC 5 wants to be as transparent as possible. Watch the interview here.
Cardinal Cupich's statement:
"An NBC Chicago TV report that aired Monday night was edited in such a way that gave the false impression that Pope Francis and I consider the protection of children to be less important than other issues, such as the environment or immigration. Nothing could be further from the truth.
A review of the unedited footage of that interview shows that I was referring to the recent letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, not the terrible crime of clergy sexual abuse. I said that it was not appropriate, or even possible for Pope Francis to respond to the letter’s many undocumented allegations, and I endorsed his request that journalists determine their veracity.
I was then asked whether there should be an independent investigation of the Archbishop Theodore McCarrick case, and I endorsed the call of Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, for a thorough investigation.
The edited report created the false impression that my comment that the pope should not “go down the rabbit hole” of the allegations in the Viganò letter was about sexual abuse. As the unedited footage shows, it was not.
As I wrote in my letter responding to the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report: 'Whatever words we may use to describe the anguish of reading about these heinous acts, they can never capture the reality of suffering endured by victims of sexual abuse, suffering compounded by the woeful responses of bishops who failed to protect the people they were ordained to serve. … We must resolve to face our failures and hold each other accountable. We must resolve to be clear-eyed about what we have done, what we have failed to do, and what remains to be done. We must resolve to live in the light of humility, of repentance, of honesty — the light of Christ. As your bishop, I pledge to continue holding firm to that resolve. And I ask for you to pray for all victims of abuse.'"