The Holy Father’s decision to defrock former Archbishop Theodore McCarrick demonstrates the Church’s strong resolve to right the wrongs associated with past clergy sexual abuse. By itself the Holy Father’s decision will not bring the healing needed in the Church. It is, however, another important step toward accountability for Bishops and all Church leaders as we work together to restore trust and confidence in the Church. Looking ahead, I pray that next week’s Vatican meeting of leading Bishops from around the world will be fruitful, and will lead to even further measures to end the scourge of clergy sexual abuse.
I pray for the victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse. I also pray for all Church leaders: May they have the wisdom, courage and perseverance needed to atone for the evils of the past, and to take all steps necessary to heal our Church today and for the future.
Anyone who knows of incidents of abuse, in the Church or outside it, should report it to the State ChildLine at 1-800-932-0313, the State Attorney General’s hotline at 1-888-538-8541, or to local law enforcement. The Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator is available to provide assistance to anyone who, as a minor, was abused by a priest, deacon, employee, or volunteer of the Diocese, or of its parishes. Her direct line is 1-800-791-9209.