Statement by the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on the findings of the Pennsylvania Investigating Grand Jury
Catholics across our country are rightly ashamed and saddened regarding the findings of the Pennsylvania Investigating Grand Jury. With Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, we reiterate the profound sadness that we as Bishops feel each time we learn about the harm caused as a result of abuse by Church leaders of any rank.
The Bishops of Canada treat with great seriousness instances of sexual abuse of minors and inappropriate conduct on the part of all pastoral workers – be they fellow Bishops, other clergy, consecrated persons or laity.
National guidelines for the protection of minors have been in place in Canada since 1992, which dioceses and eparchies across the country have applied in their local policies and protocols. This fall, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops will launch updated and expanded guidelines promoting the safeguarding of minors and increasing accountability and transparency within Church leadership.
In communion with Pope Francis, the Bishops of Canada want victims to know that the Church is on their side. Those who suffer are the Church’s priority, and the Church wants to listen to them and to learn from them.
The Catholic Bishops of Canada understand well how much these crimes can shake the faith and the spirit of believers. We hope and pray that the Catholic faithful will assist all of us in every way to create safe and respectful environments for everyone, especially minors and vulnerable adults in the Church and in all of society.
Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
20 August 2018
Other Church statements on this issue:
– Pope Francis: Letter to the People of God, 20 August 2018 http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2018/documents/papa- francesco_20180820_lettera-popolo-didio.html
– Statement by the Holy See Press Office, 16 August 2018 . Complete text, https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-08/vatican-responds-to- pennsylvania-grand-jury-abuse-report.html
– Joint statement by Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Timothy L. Doherty, Chairman, USCCB Committee for the Protection of Children and Youth People, 14 August 2018 http://usccb.org/news/2018/18-138.cfm