The release of the Grand Jury Report and the recent allegations have been painful. Much has been said and written already. I suspect that many of you, like me, are emotionally exhausted. Shock, anger, frustration, profound sadness and tears. It’s been rough.
Faithful from across the five-county Diocese of Allentown are welcme to share faith, fellowship and fun at this year’s “Diocesan Family Festival,” Sunday, Sept. 30 in the Christmas City. Additionally, the event, which takes place at SteelStacks, 101 Founders Way, Bethlehem, will shine a spotlight on Catholic education.
The Diocese of Allentown is open to discussions about the creation of a fund to assist victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse as one aspect of their healing.
“As a parish, we were happy to welcome them. Their presence and the purpose of their trip has been an inspiration to our parishioners,” said Father Don Cieniewicz.
Bishop Alfred Schlert this weekend visited three parishes of the Diocese of Allentown that were affected by clergy abuse, saying Mass and offering a Homily in which he asked victims for forgiveness, acknowledged that past actions of Church leaders have eroded trust, and pledged to “shepherd our local Church through these hurt-filled times.” His Homily, given at Saint Patrick, Pottsville, on Saturday evening, and at Holy Guardian Angels and St. Catharine of Siena, both in Reading, on Sunday, can be found here.
“From the moment we’re baptized, we are called,” Father Arechabala said to young adults gathered for the Theology on Tap session “Everyday Holiness: Learning to Hear God Speak” Aug. 13 at Hops at the Paddock, Allentown.
There have been suggestions that you discredited victims of abuse. Is that true? Absolutely not. (Click on the headline above to read the rest of the Bishop's answer.)
Every Bishop inherits the history of his Diocese. It falls to him to shoulder any failings from the past, to apologize, to ask forgiveness, to promote healing, and to do what he can to prevent recurrence. The Grand Jury Report is a sad and humbling account of the Priesthood used for evil purposes. The victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse have suffered terribly, and it is my sincere hope that the Report is an important step in their healing and recovery.
“The gifts you make are especially meaningful. These gifts may serve people that are maybe not on earth yet. It is a beautiful expression of faith and has an impact that will last forever,” said Paul Acampora, secretary of the Diocesan Secretariat for Stewardship and Development.