Bishop-Elect Encourages Chicago Priests to Address Abuse Crisis - NBC Chicago

Bishop-Elect Encourages Chicago Priests to Address Abuse Crisis

The latest letter follows one published by Cardinal Blase Cupich last week

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    Bishop-Elect Encourages Chicago Priests to Address Abuse Crisis

    Chicago Catholic priests are being encouraged to discuss the priest sex abuse crisis this weekend, according to a letter from a high-ranking member of the Chicago Archdiocese obtained by NBC 5.

    The latest letter follows one published by Cardinal Blase Cupich last week, expressing his "anger, shock, grief and shame" following the explosive grand jury report that detailed hundreds of "predator priests." 

    Vicar General Ron Hicks, a Bishop-elect, sent a second letter to the priests, telling them “I encourage you to publish the Cardinal’s letter in your bulletin and put it on your parish’s website.”

    Hicks tells the priests “we should not be afraid to touch these wounds.”

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    Pope Francis reportedly told the president of the Episcopal Commission for the Amazon in March 2017 that he would allow the Latin Church bishops in the Amazon region at a 2019 synod to debate whether they should ordain married men to the priesthood. The Catholic Church ordains married men in the 23 Eastern Catholic Churches. The Latin Church headed by the Bishop of Rome only ordains celibate men to the priesthood. However, neither the Catholic nor the Orthodox Churches allow priests to marry after ordination. NBC10's Tim Furlong reports.

    (Published Friday, March 10, 2017)

    While not every priest addressed the issue last week, it’s now very clear the Archdiocese wants the topic addressed. There are reports that parishioners applauded — and in some cases offered standing ovations — to those priests who did speak last Sunday about the crisis.

    "Thank you for your priesthood and pastoral leadership. Let’s continue to pray for each other and for our people, especially for the victims and survivors. May God’s mercy and healing grow in our lives, the Church and the world," Hicks' letter read.

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