I am deeply disappointed with this article and its depiction of the way in which our Archdiocese has responded to sexual abuse by priests over the past 15 years.
I must say that we cooperated fully with the newspaper, and both Dr. Reynolds and I talked directly with the reporter.
I strongly stand by the steps that have been taken to this point of responding to victim survivors, removing those with a substantiated accusation of the sexual abuse of a minor, promptly notifying the police, and fostering safe environments in our parishes and schools. I am committed to vigorously continuing these efforts and responding to all good faith recommendations to improve.
I can appreciate the pain and lifelong harm done by these heinous crimes. No child should ever be subjected to abuse, particularly by someone whose task it is to nurture a child’s faith. I have met with a number of victim survivors who have shared their pain, and I will continue to do so.
Next week I will attend the USCCB 2018 Fall General Assembly in Baltimore. I support the action items being proposed to address concerns about the Church’s and the bishops’ response to sexual abuse here and elsewhere.
Finally, I would like to reinforce my full support for Dr. Brian Reynolds. No one has put more time and effort into changing the way our Archdiocese responds to sexual abuse and making sure that our parishes and schools provide a safe environment for children and youth.
Sexual abuse is a deep wound in our Church and in our society, and I invite all Catholics and all in our community to join with me in prayer and action.