Catholic World News

US bishops ask forgiveness for role in abuse scandal

June 15, 2017

The US bishops gathered at the cathedral in Indianapolis on the evening of June 14 to express their prayer for victims of sexual abuse and their penance for their role in the abuse scandal.

Archbishop Wilton Gregory of Atlanta, who was president of the bishops’ conference when the coverage of the scandal was at its height in 2002, preached the homily.

“The Holy Father has called us respectfully to acknowledge our own share in causing the pain that so many are still enduring,” he said. “At this Mass, we bishops humbly and sincerely ask for the forgiveness of those who have been harmed, scandalized or dispirited by events that, even if they happened many years ago, remain ongoing sources of anguish for them and for those who love them.”

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  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 17, 2017 9:04 AM ET USA

    FredC makes excellent point in comment below. Bishops guilty of enabling abuse of children are already inactive, retired, or deceased, and their successors are burdened with cleaning up the old mess. There is no justice and no truth in a broad "apology" that lumps the innocent with the guilty; it distorts reality and can be used by enemies only to attack the whole Church. Personal responsibility with individual apology and appropriate criminal prosecution is what would serve justice and truth.

  • Posted by: FredC - Jun. 16, 2017 8:56 PM ET USA

    Did the bishops collaborate to mishandle the sex-abuse cases? If yes, then all should apologize; if no, only those who mishandled should apologize.

  • Posted by: johnleocassidy3475 - Jun. 16, 2017 4:19 AM ET USA

    The priesthood is in great need of a special purification. Bishops and priests will need to voluntarily enter into a lengthy period of self-imposed penance in order to expiate these great sins of impurity. Asking for forgiveness at a Mass is only the start of an otherwise long process of reparation. Priestly vocations will not recover until this happens.

  • Posted by: feedback - Jun. 15, 2017 6:54 PM ET USA

    Who is to be asked for forgiveness: 1. Victims of abuse, mostly boys - altar servers at the time of abuse, and their families, 2. All faithful priests made guilty by association, 3. All Catholics who were scandalized, and those who lost their faith as a result, those whose parishes had to be "merged" or sold because their Bishops spent fortunes on legal costs and reparations for the victims. Also, it would be time to pledge limiting ordinations to those who are not inclined to sexual deviancy.

  • Posted by: baltasa - Jun. 15, 2017 6:20 PM ET USA

    So the bishops ask for forgiveness, it is nice, what about the Penance for their sins?, Some of them broke the laws, are they gone to pay for that?, the culprits for covering of the the guilty priests are remaining Bishops. Just asking for forgiveness without suffering any consequences is easy and does not sound sincere

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jun. 15, 2017 5:27 PM ET USA

    The bishops have sacrificed many innocent priests to keep themselves out of prison. It is time for the Church to expose and remove those bishops who sacrificed others to cover up their crimes.