Washington D.C., Feb 26, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Belleville Bishop Wilton D. Gregory, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, said after the release of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice Study that bishops in the US are taking significant steps to better screen vocations and improve formation at the seminaries, and that there is still a strong commitment to improve measure to prevent sexual abuse.
“The picture that emerges sadly is one of those who broke faith with their people, their priesthood, and their religious vows,” said Bishop Gregory. He also highlighted, at the same time, that the report underscores “the fault of church leaders who failed to appreciate and effectively act on the gravity of the abuse problem.”
“The heartfelt sorrow that we feel for this violation and the often ineffective ways with which it was dealt has strengthened our commitment to do everything possible to see that it does not happen again,” he added.
Bishop Gregory recalled also that “Our Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has dedicated this present Lenten season to concern for children. In that spirit, I ask every bishop to make a concerted effort to reach out, in an individual, personal, and pastoral way, during this holy Lenten and Easter season, to all those abused as children and their families who have not yet been reached.”