It’s official: Pope Francis will receive president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on Thursday, Sept. 13.
This evening in Rome, Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, issued a statement confirming the audience which will take place at noon Thursday in the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace. Along with Cardinal DiNardo, the statement added, will be Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who heads the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Secretary-General of the USCCB.
The meeting comes in the wake of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report on abuse in six dioceses, the resignation of Archbishop Theodore from the College of Cardinals, and the recent letter by Archbishop Vigano.
The renewed commitment came in a written statement issued by Cardinal DeNardo on behalf of the USCCB.
“In communion with the Holy Father, I join the Executive Committee of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) in taking upon ourselves his exhortation, ‘this open wound [of abuse] challenges us to be firm and decisive in the pursuit of truth and justice,’ Cardinal DeNardo said.
“The recent letter of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò brings particular focus and urgency to this examination. The questions raised deserve answers that are conclusive and based on evidence. Without those answers, innocent men may be tainted by false accusation and the guilty may be left to repeat sins of the past.”
Here is a Zenit unofficial working translation of the September 11 statement, which was issued in Italian:
In response to journalists’ questions about the meeting of the Holy Father Francis with the leaders of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Head of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, confirms that:
“Thursday, September 13, 2018, the Holy Father will receive in the Apostolic Palace, His Eminence Card. Daniel DiNardo, Archbishop of Galveston-Houston, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of the United States of America, together with His Eminence Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Accompanying them will be Archbishop of Los Angeles, José Horacio Gómez, Vice President of the same episcopal conference; and Monsignor Brian Bransfield, [the USCCB’s] Secretary General. The audience will take place at midday.”
[Original Text: Italian]
[Working translation by Zenit Vatican Correspondent, Deborah Castellano Lubov]