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Sweden's bishop asks forgiveness, urges abuse victims to come forward

Catholic World News - April 14, 2010

The day he received two allegations of abuse committed by priests in the 1940s and 1960s, Sweden’s sole bishop asked for forgiveness.

“It is with deep sadness and grief that I receive these reports that some of our priests have abused children,” said Bishop Anders Arborelius, OCD, who has led the Diocese of Stockholm since 1998. “It is important that the victims dare to step forward with their stories, enabling us to get to the bottom of these terrible crimes once and for all.”

“We know it is incredibly difficult for victims to dare to talk about this but if there are more people who have been exposed to this by priests here in Sweden, I hope and pray that they have the strength to contact me,” added Bishop Arborelius, the first Swedish-born bishop since the sixteenth century. “We can then look into what happened and they can get redress, while the guilty priests-- if they are still alive-- can receive just punishment for the crimes they have committed.”

Only 1.5% of the nation’s 9.2 million people are Catholic. 163 priests minister in Sweden's 43 parishes.

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