“Acting with urgency and with purpose,” local Catholic lay leaders have launched Concerned Catholics of San Diego (CCSD), a grassroots initiative spearheaded by attorney Charles LiMandri.
The first order of business: Seek “truthful answers” from San Diego Bishop Robert W. McElroy about the sex-abuse crisis.
“The Catholic Church, including here in San Diego, is facing an unprecedented crisis,” said LiMandri. “We believe the time is now to mobilize the lay Catholic community in San Diego to bring renewal to the Church.”
In a detailed letter delivered to Bishop McElroy today, CCSD members sought answers, for example, about what concrete steps will the Bishop take “to meaningfully include the laity in the process of purification and reform of the Church hierarchy that will include accountability, transparency and an emphasis on maintaining clerical celibacy.”
A particular concern is a 2016 letter Bishop McElroy received from A.W. Richard Sipe, a leading researcher of the sexual and celibate practices of Catholic bishops and priests. In the letter, Sipe tells McElroy: “Sooner or later it will become broadly obvious that there is a systemic connection between the sexual activity by, among and between clerics in positions of authority and control, and the abuse of children.” McElroy never acted on Sipe’s warnings.
CCSD has also launched a petition drive to publicly demand that Bishop McElroy answer the questions in the group’s letter.
“We are devastated by the evil that has spread throughout the Church,” LiMandri said. “But we are also hopeful that this tragedy will bring about an extraordinary spiritual renewal not only among the clergy but the whole Church.”
From press release.