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New Zealand archbishop issues apology for abuse scandal

Catholic World News - April 06, 2010

In a pastoral letter read at all Holy Thursday Masses and Good Friday services, New Zealand’s leading prelate apologized for the abuse scandal.

“Some of those called to be shepherds have been found wanting through their abuse of the sacred trust placed in them,” said Archbishop John Dew of Wellington. “Though few in number, the entire Church leadership must accept responsibility for their failure. There have been priests in New Zealand who have abused children and young adults, so we do not claim to be guilt free.”

“I have apologized to victims of abuse; I do so again in the face of the present crisis engulfing the Church,” he added. “I also apologize to you, the people of the Archdiocese, for the humiliation, embarrassment and disappointment you feel. I know that an apology on its own is not sufficient. It is necessary that we, the shepherds, look closely at our own actions and life style, deepen our prayer life and consider anew the meaning of our commitment to living the ‘self-renunciation of Christ.’ This Year of the Priest and the dignity of our calling demand that we do that.”

Archbishop Charles Balvo, the New York prelate who serves as apostolic nuncio, said that he has not had to forward any new abuse cases to Rome during his five years in New Zealand.

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