President of U.S. Bishops' Conference and Committee Chairman Response to Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report

August 14, 2018 By Public Affairs Office
WASHINGTON—CardinalDaniel 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 broaderissue of safe environments within the Church. An update will be offered upontheir conclusion.

Inresponse to today's Pennsylvania grand jury report, Cardinal DiNardo joins BishopTimothy L. Doherty of Lafayettein Indiana,in issuing the following joint statement. Bishop Doherty is Chairman for the USCCB'sCommittee for theProtection of Children and Young People.

The full statement follows:

"The report of the Pennsylvania grand jury again illustrates the painof those who have been victims of the crime of sexual abuse by individualmembers of our clergy, and by those who shielded abusers and so facilitated anevil that continued for years or even decades. We are grateful for the courage ofthe people who aided the investigation by sharing their personal stories ofabuse. As a body of bishops, we are shamed by and sorry for the sins andomissions by Catholic priests and Catholic bishops.

We are profoundly saddened each time we hear about the harm caused asa result of abuse, at the hands of a clergyman of any rank. 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 beenabused. We are committed to work in determined ways so that such abuse cannothappen.

ThePennsylvania grand jury report covers a span of more than 70 years. In 2002 theU.S. Catholic bishops adopted the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, which commits us to respondpromptly and compassionately to victims, report the abuse of minors, removeoffenders and take ongoing action to prevent abuse. This Charter was revised and updated in 2011 and again in 2018. Wepledge to maintain transparency and to provide for the permanent removal ofoffenders from ministry and to maintain safe environments for everyone. All policies and procedures regarding training and background checkrequirements are made publicly available by dioceses and eparchies. 

We praythat all survivors of sexual abuse find healing, comfort and strength in God'sloving presence as the Church pledges to continue to restore trust throughaccompaniment, communion, accountability and justice."             


Keywords:United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N.DiNardo, Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, Committee for the Protection of Children andYoung People, Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, Pennsylvania, GrandJury Report, sexual abuse, clergyman, U.S. bishops, Charter for the Protectionof Children and Young People, prevention, accompaniment, accountability,justice.


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Judy Keane