Efforts to remove Fort Worth bishop are about more than his decisions and style

Ft. Worth Telegram

June 20, 2019

By Cynthia M. Allen

At a time when the Catholic Church in the U.S. is undergoing a serious but deserved crisis of confidence over its handling of sexual abuse within its ranks, Bishop Michael Olson is the face of the faith in Fort Worth, charged with leading his flock through ominous times.

Olson and his contemporaries across the country are bearing the burden of the Church’s sins, with consequences ranging from dwindling mass attendance to investigations by secular authorities and a constant stream of public approbation. Again, much of that is deserved.

Olson’s response to the crisis has been unequivocal, in word — his condemnation of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick at a meeting of the U.S. Catholic Bishops was among the strongest of his rank — and in deed.

“When anyone reports anything to me — grooming, harassment, stalking, assault — I act on it immediately,” Olson assured me in February.

True to his word, Olson has been quick to remove several clergy suspected of or complicit in alleged sexual misconduct.

That’s to be commended, especially when many of his fellow bishops have responded to the sexual abuse crisis with reluctance and ambiguity.

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