As a Catholic priest, I write these lines with a mixture of shame and anger. I have a profound sense of the need once again to apologize for the incalculable harm done by my brother priests who violated their sacred trust with children, adolescents, and adults and the harm done by several bishops of my church in failing to deal effectively with those violations.
Two highly publicized and scathing reports on the scandal were released February 27, 2004, by the bishops National Review Board for the Protection of Children and Young People. In the aftermath of these reports, two points deserve to be underscored as our communion continues to deal with the worst crisis Catholicism has encountered in its history on these shores. First, it is shortsighted and superficial in the extreme to pretend that the scandal is behind us. Some in the Catholic hierarchy have taken to speaking in the past tense about this whole sordid matter. But we shall confront the awful results of these wrongdoings for decades to comeespecially in the broken lives that these sins have caused and in our churchs consequent loss of moral authority.