Following a Facebook post that garnered widespread attention, Tulsa Diocese Bishop David Konderla issued a statement Monday regarding it and his apparent endorsement of a former papal ambassador’s claims — chiefly that Pope Francis knew about a priest’s alleged sexual misconduct but still reinstated him.
“As a people of faith, we must have the patience and prudence necessary to allow these allegations to be thoroughly investigated in order that whatever truth they may contain may come to light and justice be served,” Konderla said Monday in a news release.
Konderla’s Facebook statement was posted online Sunday evening and was picked up by Breitbart and other media outlets. In it he stated that the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò were “a good place to begin” in investigating sexual misconduct and cover-ups among church leadership.
Viganò, former papal ambassador to the U.S., released his claims on Saturday in an 11-page statement. In it, he says Pope Francis knew in 2013 about sexual misconduct allegations against the former archbishop of Washington, Theodore McCarrick, but rehabilitated him anyway.
Asked about the claims on Sunday, Pope Francis declined to confirm or deny them, noting that Viganò’s document “speaks for itself” and that he wouldn’t comment on it, The Associated Press reported.
Konderla, bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma, posted his comments Sunday evening on his personal Facebook page, where he also linked to Viganò’s statements.
Konderla wrote on Facebook: “I count myself blessed that it was Archbishop Viganò who called me to tell me that I was appointed fourth bishop of Tulsa. The allegations he details mark a good place to begin the investigations that must happen in order for us to restore holiness and accountability to the leadership of the Church.
“Now is the time for us to re-double our prayers for the Church and for the victims of these crimes.”
In his follow-up remarks Monday, Konderla added that his statement on Viganò is just his latest statement about allegations of abuse in the church.
In the former, Konderla wrote that the accusations of abuse against McCarrick “reveal a serious and concerning problem in the Church” and that “such behavior cannot be tolerated in the Body of Christ.”