Dear St. Catherine Parish Family,
Last week I wrote to you about the painful Church abuse scandals we have been hearing about in the news over the past couple of months. Although I mentioned that many efforts have been made, particularly over the past 15 years, to provide effective protections against sexual abuse (see http://www.usccb.org/about/child-and-youth-protection ), we now know that a system of coverup and corruption remains, particularly among bishops in the United States. It seemed as if the coverups and other corrupt activities here in the United States were limited to the U.S. bishops. Yet additional disturbing allegations are now being made regarding these coverups and corruption that reach the highest levels of the Church, namely the Vatican and even the Pope himself.
These are very trying times for us as Catholics, and I want to express to you again my disgust and heartbrokenness over this great scandal that has been caused by so many priests and bishops who are supposed to be true shepherds, but rather have turned out to be wolves. These men have betrayed their office and have done irreparable harm. I pray that true justice will be done, and that the purification so desperately needed in the Church will occur swiftly.
In this light, I ask you to join me in doing three things. First, do not allow these events to undermine your faith. The Lord is allowing this purification to happen in the Church for a reason, but He does not want us to despair: In the end, He is still the Head of His Church, and He will never allow the gates of hell to prevail against her.
Second, pray and fast for the Church and for those who have been harmed in any way by the Church. Pray for the victims of abuse, and pray, as well, that those who are continuing to persist in these scandalous types of behavior will be rooted out.
Finally, take action by respectfully demanding that the current and past allegations being made against Church leaders at every level be investigated with full transparency by an objective, independent body.
In order to facilitate this action, I am providing below the contact information for our own archbishop as well as Cardinal Daniel Dinardo, the president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and finally, Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the Apostolic Nuncio for the United States. (Letters to his office will presumably be communicated to the Vatican.)
Archbishop Wilton Gregory
Archbishop of Atlanta
2401 Lake Park Dr. SE
Smyrna, GA 30080
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo
President of the USCCB
1700 San Jacinto St.
Houston, TX 77002
Archbishop Christophe Pierre
3339 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20008-3610
Please know, once again, of my prayers for all of you. If you have any further questions or concerns regarding these matters, please do not hesitate to contact me.