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The Way of Christ
in the Midst of Scandals
List of Articles:
Winning the race against sin by PRS
Learning from Divisions by PRS
What Canon Law Says about any abuses
by PRS
Who to Write to
Justice in the Church
by PRS
Testifying to Jesus
by PRS

When our shepherds fail to protect us by PRS

The purging of sexual misuse by PRS

A Prayer by PRS

When your pastor is falsely accused
by Dee Janicke
A Catholic Response to Sexual Abuse
No Effective Reform Without Interior Renewal
U.S. Bishop's Statement on Sexual Abuse Cases
What is the attitude of the Catholic Church?
Letter of the Holy Father to Priests
Cardinal Egan's Letter On Sexual-Abuse Cases
Irish Bishops' Statement on Sex-Abuse Cases
Pope's Address to Cardinals & Bishops
Final Statement of U.S. Cardinals in Rome
Message to American Priests from cardinals
Elsewhere:
Answering Scandal with Personal Holiness - by Fr. Roger J. Landry
Parish Renewal Services

Message to American Priests
from the U.S. cardinals and leaders
of the U.S. bishop's conference

We, the Cardinals of the United States and the Presidency of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, gathered with our brother Cardinals of the Roman Curia around the Successor of Peter, wish to speak a special word to you, our brother priests who give yourselves so generously from day to day in service of God´s people.

At our meeting, you have been very much in our minds and hearts, for we know the heavy burden of sorrow and shame that you are bearing because some have betrayed the grace of Ordination by abusing those entrusted to their care.

We regret that episcopal oversight has not been able to preserve the Church from this scandal. The entire Church, the Bride of Christ, is afflicted by this wound -- the victims and their families first of all, but also you who have dedicated your lives to "the priestly service of the Gospel of God" (Rom 15:16).

To all of you we express our deep gratitude for all that you do to build up the Body of Christ in holiness and love. We pledge to support you in every possible way through these troubled times, and we ask that you stay close to us in the bond of the priesthood as we make every effort to bring the healing grace of Christ to the people whom we serve.

We are in complete harmony with the Holy Father when he said in his Address yesterday: "Neither should we forget the immense spiritual, human and social good that the vast majority of priests and religious in the United States have done and are still doing.... To the Catholic communities in the United States, to their Pastors and members, to the men and women religious, to teachers in Catholic universities and schools, to American missionaries in all parts of the world, go the wholehearted thanks of the entire Catholic Church and the personal thanks of the Bishop of Rome."

As we look to the future, let us together beg the eternal High Priest for the grace to live this time of trial with courage and confidence in the Crucified Lord. This echoes the summons of our Ordination: "Imitate the mystery you celebrate; model your life on the mystery of the Lord´s Cross" (Rite of Ordination); and it is a vital part of what we now offer the Church as she passes through this time of painful purification. From the house of the Successor of Peter, who has confirmed us in our faith, we wish in turn to confirm you in the humble and exalted service of the Catholic priesthood to which we have been called. Peace be with you!

 

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