The Bishop has written a letter to all the faithful of the Diocese expressing his sorrow for the deep pain that resulted from the sexual abuse of children by members of the clergy. He states that in the interests of both justice and healing, the Diocese is publicly acknowledging and identifying those clergy who have been removed from ministry after credible accusations have been made against them. He also states that there is an updated list that includes the names of additional diocesan priests and deacons, regardless of how long ago the abuse is alleged to have occurred. The Bishop’s letter and this updated list can be found on the website at www.dioceseofcleveland.org/ healing. If you do not have access to the internet, we have paper copies available for you in the rectory office.
The Bishop is also offering opportunities for those whohave been abused to participate in support groups guided by experienced facilitators. There will also be several days of retreat to be held in various areas of the diocese for those who wish to participate. He reiterates that any allegation of child sexual abuse that becomes known to the Diocese is reported directly to civil authorities and that our Diocesan Review Board becomes involved immediately as well. He assures us that “a cleric will be permanently removed from ministry if it is established by an admission, a conviction in criminal court, or by way of an appropriate canonical process that he sexually abused a child.”
I join with Bishop Perez in sharing my personal sorrowover these sins and crimes of former clergy. And at St. Leo’s we cooperate fully with Diocesan requirements with regard to VIRTUS., the nationally recognized program to train those who minister, work and volunteer on how to identify signs of sexual abuse in children. Finally, I pray each day (and encourage you to do the same) for all victims of clerical sexual abuse and for the priests who have been removed from ministry due to credible accusations of misconduct. We pray for the grace of “compunction,” which is a sorrow for our sins and for the evil that exists in the world. Our hope can only be found in Christ who is our Judge, our Healer and our Merciful God. We turn to him prayerfully and with hope that the Church may protect all her children.
Our congratulations to Rosemary Michelle Graves, who is being baptized this Sunday at Noon. We ask that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit may always remain with this new child of God.
Please join us for Mass this Thursday, July 4th at 9am in the church so that we may pray for God’s blessings on our country, called to be a light to other nations. Please be safe this holiday and enjoy the beautiful weather we hope to have. Please note that the rectory office will be closed on Thursday AND Friday, July 4th & 5th, in observance of the holiday.