Vatican moved quickly to punish Gumbleton

Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a retired auxiliary bishop of Detroit, revealed for the first time yesterday details about his removal as a parish pastor in 2007. NCRpublished a report of the talk Gumbleton delivered at pre-conference meeting of Call to Action in Milwaukee.

See Retired bishop asked to leave Detroit parish for testimony for that story. More video here.

Following are more of the background that led up to Gumbleton’s dismal.


Gumbleton had followed the sex abuse crisis in the press, especially the church’s response. “I thought they were starting to move along.”

The bishops had developed the Dallas Charter in 2002, outlining policies for dealing with sexual abuse cases.

“I can remember actually being at the press conference when they announced the charter and they said ‘and now the whole problem is behind us,'” Gumbleton said. “They really talked like they had settled this whole thing.”

“It’s not over and it won’t be over until we within the church deal with it in a very open, honest and thorough way,” he said. “And that’s going to take much change within the church.”

After being lied to in the past by a fellow bishop who said he had taken care of an abusive priest when in fact he hadn’t, Gumbleton “was totally upset, disillusioned even when I discovered how easily he could put me off, tell me ‘I’ll take care of it’ and then do nothing.”

Barbara Blaine of SNAP, a longtime friend of Gumbleton, asked him if he would testify on behalf of SNAP for a statute of limitations case. A date in January 2006 worked for Gumbleton. The hearing would be in Ohio.

“My testimony made the points on why we need to make this change,” he said at the Call to Action conference session Nov. 4. “I also, I thought about this, and thought maybe the most persuasive thing I can tell you people is that I’m a victim.” [more]


National Catholic Reporter