This week saw the devastating grand jury report released investigating sexual abuse of children and the lack of action by six of the eight dioceses in Pennsylvania.
The Bishops of the six Pennsylvania dioceses released statements on Aug. 14, the same day the report was made public, expressing extreme sorrow over the tragic situation and looking to the protection and care of victims.
“I express our profound sorrow and apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful and the general public for the abuses that took place and for those church officials who failed to protect children,” write Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg. “We are committed to continuing and enhancing the positive changes made, to ensure these types of atrocities never occur again.” Read his statement in its entirety here.
“There are simply no words that I can offer to take away the pain this has caused. Simply put child sexual abuse cannot be tolerated and must be eradicated from our church,” writes Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton. “Sadly, the church has taken far too long to do that. While the investigation and the report represent a disturbing and painful chapter in the life of our church, it is necessary for us to address them in order for us to move ahead in a more positive way.” Read the rest of his video statement can be viewed here.
Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, is hosting a series of meetings this week responding to the broader issue of safe environments within the Church. An update will be offered upon their conclusion.
In response to the grand jury report, Cardinal DiNardo joined Bishop Timothy L. Doherty of Lafayette in Indiana, Chairman for the USCCB's Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People, and published a statement.
“We are profoundly saddened each time we hear about the harm caused as a result of abuse, at the hands of a clergyman of any rank,” said Cardinal DiNardo and Bishop Doherty in their joint statement. The USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People and the office of the Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection will continue to offer avenues to healing for those who have been abused. We are committed to work in determined ways so that such abuse cannot happen.
We pray that all survivors of sexual abuse find healing, comfort and strength in God's loving presence as the Church pledges to continue to restore trust through accompaniment, communion, accountability and justice," they said.
Comments, Homilies and Statements from California Bishops:
Archbishop José Gomez, Los Angeles
Bishop Gerald Barnes, San Bernardino
Bishop Myron Cotta, Stockton
Bishop Michael Barber, Oakland
Bishop Robert McElroy, San Diego
Bishop Patrick McGrath, San Jose
Bishop Armando Ochoa, Fresno
Bishop Jaime Soto, Sacramento
Bishop Kevin Vann, Orange
Bishop Robert Vasa, Santa Rosa
Bishop Gerald Wilkerson, Apostolic Administrator, Monterey
Vatican Spokesperson Comments – here