The News Events of this past weekend:  have left us all very saddened, angry, remorseful, devastated, and the list of adjectives goes on.  One young person, anywhere, is one too many, as we would all agree, but the numbers released by the AG and media regarding Pennsylvania, dating all the way back to WWII, were indeed overwhelming to all, and not least of all, the many, many good priests and religious around the world who serve the Church well and have for decades.  These are very hard and difficult days for all of us who proudly bear the name Catholic and know of the immense good the Church has done since the beginning of Christianity.  

That reality does not diminish the very horrendous reality brought to light again in the news, and mostly due to the grave mishandling of the matter on behalf of some hierarchy of past decades.
 
As one bishop currently serving in Pennsylvania said, that was a past that cannot be ignored nor condoned, but it is not the Church of today!  Ever since the first of any allegations came to light (Boston), much has been done to ensure the Church is doing all that is possible to cooperate with authorities, put more careful and stringent policies in place, and follow them all to the letter.  ALL dioceses of the US must comply and have been for some time now.  

This is why Bishop Rhoades responded as he did to the way in which his name was brought into the Harrisburg issue.  He DID comply with all that was asked of him, took immediate action once made aware, and has always done all he knows to do to make sure all people are kept free of any abuse.
 
Having said what he did (please read his statement using the link on our Parish website), he most of all apologizes for the Church as a whole for what has happened, and had deep and sincere pain in his own heart for those who have suffered any abuse.  Bishop is a man who takes his position as a shepherd very seriously and I truly believe this to be so as would our entire diocesan clergy and staff.  His compassion for all of us (clergy, laity, and even those non-Catholics within his diocesan boundaries) is unending and sincere, always.  

I also would like to direct you to the statement (in full) made by Our Holy Father, which can be read using the link on our Parish website.  Please read them carefully so you, as the good people in the pews, know how the Church, our good bishops, and clergy feel about what has happened, and take seriously the effort to not let it happen again.
 
The reality is that clergy and religious are people too and we are ALL in need of God’s help to live our lives in a manner worthy of our calling: you, me, and all those who find a home within our Church.  There will always be people in the Church with feet of clay and in need of ongoing conversion.  Church history apart from all of this certainly proves this out.  It is a Divine entity, but it also has a human element that will, at times, cause Her to fail the people of God.  No excuse, but part of reality.  The key to what we now know is to do ALL possible to ensure it won’t repeat itself in future times.  
- Fr. John