The scandal broke in the Boston Globe around the feast of the Epiphany in 2002. While the revelations were “devastating”, the “truth of the abuse had to be confronted,” the cardinal wrote.
“Only with the truth of clergy sexual abuse exposed could we again seek to walk fully in His (God’s) light,” he wrote in his column titled “Rebuilding faith, five years on”.
“The Catholic community has worked diligently in recent years to put in place programs and policies to ensure the safety of children. We must, and will, continue our vigilance and improve on these efforts. Nothing less is acceptable. Our responsibility to children and families is paramount. It is our hope and prayer that such protections will be in place in all settings in society where children depend upon the care of adults,” he continued.
The cardinal once again apologized to the victims of abuse and their families and asked for their forgiveness.
“The impact of the clergy sexual abuse scandal has reached deep into the lives of parishioners and the faith-filled priests who minister to them. They have borne the shame, grief, and confusion of these devastating revelations with heroic faith,” he recognized. He also acknowledged the anger and mistrust that arose within the wider community as a result of the scandal.
However, he pointed to the hope that comes from Christ’s love and mercy. “In this love the process of healing can both begin and be sustained,” he wrote.
.- Five years after the clergy abuse scandal broke, there is still quite a way to go to restore trust and confidence in the Catholic Church of Boston, said Cardinal Sean O’Malley in a Boston Globe op-ed piece.