The recent, disturbing news of child abuse by Catholic clergy adds to what we have been hearing in recent years. It is a horrible scandal and hearing more incidents prevents the needed healing from taking place. I want to quote from Cardinal Dolan’s letter to the Family of the Archdiocese, dated August 15, 2018:
“(The) report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury that investigated cases of the sexual abuse of minors committed by priests and deacons once again brought forward the pain and suffering of those who experienced that abuse, and the shameful way that those in positions of authority, including bishops, responded – or failed to respond – when informed of the abuse, and in many cases permitted it to continue and new victims to be harmed.
“(The report) clearly lays out the pain experienced by victim- survivors, pain which continues to this day, and the terribly wrong way that these incidents were usually handled by the church in the past contributed to their suffering. While it is true that the abuse of minors was badly handled by all segments of society, if there is one segment that should have done a better job, it is the church. And while the church in the past may have been an example of what not to do, today I believe it is a model of what to do to prevent sexual abuse, and how to respond when an accusation come to light.”
We need to prevent this from ever happening again and when we know that it is happening, take the necessary steps that have been put in place. All of us are shocked by this and never expected to have to deal with something so offensive as this.
-Fr. Andrew Reitz, O.F.M.