May PA. Bishops Action Be a New Beginning
This week, Archbishop Chaput joined all the Catholic bishops of Pennsylvania in issuing a joint statement pledging their full support for an independent sex abuse survivors’ compensation program to be administered by experts who will operate independently from the Church. It will seek to provide financial assistance for survivors regardless of when they suffered abuse.
Of course, this positive step received very little media coverage.
This statement of support follows deep reflection by the bishops on the ugly record of clergy sexual abuse in our Commonwealth and on the times when Church leadership failed to protect our children and people over a period of many decades. This week they publicly joined in expressing deep regret for the suffering of survivors and any decisions that failed to protect them. The bishops are resolved to make things right.
Your letters, which I urged you to write, and your words have been heard. This can only be the beginning, I pray.
As you know, our Archdiocese has worked vigorously for over 15 years to provide safe environments for children and young people and to provide assistance for survivors and their families who suffered abuse. This week’s announcement builds further upon those efforts. You can learn more about our Archdiocese’s ongoing response to the societal scourge of sexual abuse by visiting www.AOPPledgetoProtect.com.
I am always available to answer any questions or offer clarity on this and other matters. May God continue to bless all of you and strengthen you in your faith journeys as He has me during these difficult times for our Church.