This morning, in the wake of these recent reports of clergy abuse, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, published a statement. In it he said, “I apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do. Whatever the details may turn out to be regarding Archbishop (Theodore) McCarrick or the many abuses in Pennsylvania (or anywhere else), we already know that one root cause is the failure of episcopal leadership.”
The People of God deserve better. Over the last decade we have made strides in Sacramento to create safe environments for the families entrusted to us. My brother priests and I must continue working to earn the trust of the Catholic community. In the wake of the recent events, we must listen compassionately, counsel with confidence about the steps already taken, and assure the faithful that we will remain vigilant.
These shameful events raise questions and concerns among the faithful and the greater community. We should honestly acknowledge the sins and failings of the past, but even more importantly, in addition to owning and atoning for what happened in the past we must continue to demonstrate our commitment to care for the victims and prevent these sins from happening again.
I assure you that in the Diocese of Sacramento:
- The bishop, priests, and pastoral staff take seriously all complaints of sexual misconduct.
- Any accusation alleging criminal activity is reported to law enforcement and/or child protective services.
- All steps will be taken to protect the faithful, especially children and young people, including fingerprinting and background checks for all clergy; safe environment training for children, staff and clergy; and zero tolerance for anyone credibly accused of abusing a minor.
- Victims are provided with the pastoral care they need.
Please pray for those who have suffered from sexual abuse, that they may experience God’s profound love for them and God’s healing powers.
I also ask you to pray for all my brother priests and deacons who earnestly strive to grow in holiness and serve you with devotion.
Let us keep one another in prayer.
To read the entire text of Cardinal DiNardo's Aug. 16 statement, visit http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-139.cfm