Cardinal Timothy Dolan has announced the Archdiocese of New York has hired a former federal judge to conduct "an exhaustive study" of policies, procedures and protocols for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse.
Dolan called this the "Summer of Hell" because of a Pennsylvania grand jury report that detailed how more than 1,000 children were abused for decades by priests in the state. Former Archbishop of Washington Cardinal Theodore McCarrick also resigned because of allegations of sexual abuse.
"This has all left our people bewildered, frustrated, and angry; our good and faithful priests demoralized; and us bishops somber and contrite," Dolan said in a statement.
Judge Barbara Jones has been named Special Counsel and Independent Reviewer and Dolan said she will have access to the church's records, personnel, and to him personally. Dolan said he's taking this action because people have begun to lose faith.
"If I lose the trust of my people and this community, I don’t have a lot left," Dolan said.
The Cardinal said the church has made progress in dealing with the abuse of minors. But he said they need to be sure they're doing enough to respond to allegations of abuses of position and power.
"I look forward to receiving your recommendations and your insights, and I pledge that I will take them all with utmost seriousness. And I want you to hold my feet to the fire, if you feel that I am not following through on the recommendations that you make," Dolan.
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