Statement from Voice of the Faithful® national office:
BOSTON, Mass., Dec. 16, 2013 – As Christians look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus, recent events underscore again the sad story of clergy sex abuse in the Catholic Church:
- The Minnesota Diocese of Winona today released the names of 14 priests credibly accused of child abuse. The priests had been known to the diocese for a decade.
- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia yesterday placed Fr. John Paul on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of child sexual abuse. The archdiocese had uncovered additional evidence of abuse since last month, when Fr. Paul resigned after police had investigated him for allegedly abusing minors when he was a seminarian.
- The Archdiocese of Philadelphia also permanently removed five priests from ministry yesterday who had been among 26 priests suspended following the February 2011 grand jury report of its investigation into clergy sexual abuse.
- Archbishop John Nienstedt of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., apologized yesterday for failing to respond promptly to allegations of clergy sexual abuse in his archdiocese, saying in part that he was told seven years ago this whole issue of clerical sex abuse had been “taken care of.”
Like Archbishop Nienstedt, many believe that clergy sex abuse is “in the past.” Vigilance should never be slackened where children are concerned. Nor should bishops and parishioners assume that revelations today all refer to past offenses. They do not. Checks against the actions of pedophiles and ongoing priority for child protection remain essential in the Church as elsewhere.
Voice of the Faithful®: Voice of the Faithful® is a worldwide movement of faithful Roman Catholics working to support survivors of clergy sexual abuse, support priests of integrity and increase the laity’s role in governance and guidance of the Church. More information is at www.votf.org.