Miami, Fla., Dec 17, 2003 / 22:00 pm
The Archdiocese of Miami moved one step closer to reconciliation and came clean about alleged sexual abuse by clergy last weekend in a report, issued to its parishes through the Florida Catholic newspaper. The eight-page insert acknowledges that 38 diocesan priests have been accused of sexual misconduct involving minors since the archdiocese was founded 45 years ago, reported the Miami Herald.
According to the Associated Press, Miami reported that 4,302 of the diocesan priests since 1958 (99.1 percent) have never been accused of sexual misconduct involving minors. Most priests are law-abiding examples to the community, says Archbishop John C. Favalora in his letter. Still, he apologized for “the sins of a few.
''I, as the chief shepherd of the archdiocese, express my most sincere apologies,'' Favalora wrote. “I also apologize for any action or inaction on my part that has lessened your sense of trust in the Catholic Church and its ministers. I encourage those harmed in this way to seek the healing, reconciliation and renewal that come from counseling, prayer and Christian hope.”
The diocesan report also explains what steps are being taken in the diocese prevent further sexual misconduct by clergy, such as criminal background checks, installation of a code of conduct, psychological testing and training programs, reported the Miami Herald.