ROME -- Today was Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich’s day.
After months planning the protection of minors in the church summit, Cupich stood before bishops and outlined a serious plan for reform he says requires radically altering the church’s approach to safeguarding children.
Speeches that were impassioned, emotional and tear filled on day 1, were replaced by academic lectures, facts about why sex abuse in the church is important to talk about, how it fits into the world stage of violence against children, and what to do about it.
"What I present here is a framework for constructing new legal structures of accountability in the church," Cupich said.
"We must move to establish robust laws and structures regarding the accountability of bishops precisely to supply with a new soul the institutional reality of the church’s discipline on sexual abuse."
The cardinal’s speech, entitled “Synodality,” laid out four principles of reform. But to initiate them, bishops first must realize the necessity.
"None of the structural elements we enact as a synodal church, important as they are, can guide us forward faithfully in Christ unless we anchor all of our deliberations in the piercing pain of those who have been abused and of the families who have suffered with them," Cupich said.
A pain that hits home worldwide. Bishops got a manual Friday detailing how the United Nations handles atrocities against children, many of which begin at home.
Cupich told WGN, "there’s pretty good solid research that those who abuse many times are abused themselves if you can cut that cycle. You can save the future generations of this scourge that’s what’s at stake here."