I’m not writing because I have anything profound to say about sexual abuse in the Church. My own thoughts haven’t settled yet. I want to say something to make people feel good or enlightened, but I don’t think there is anything I could say at this time. Instead, I want to briefly acknowledge the scandals hitting the news, both about Cardinal McCarrick and about the horrific report from the dioceses of Pennsylvania.
Right now, I’m doing my best to read the stories and reports coming out regarding these situations. I believe it is my duty to listen to the victims and to seek deeper understanding of how the abuse occurred and what its short term and long term effects have been for the victims. I encourage you to do the same. I will turn my attention to long term issues down the road.
Below, you will find Archbishop Sartain’s statement on the issue.
Please keep me in prayer, and I will in turn pray for you.
Statement of Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, August 17, 2018
Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report
With the recent allegations of sexual abuse committed by Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, former Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and the release of a Grand Jury Report involving several dioceses in Pennsylvania, the tragedy of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church is once again brought to light. The sexual abuse of a minor is an intrinsic moral evil and a crime. Anyone responsible for such an act or for shielding those who do, including bishops and other Church leaders, must be held accountable for their actions. I join with other bishops from throughout Washington and the United States in expressing our sincere shame and remorse for the incredible harm these crimes have caused the victims and their families.
The Catholic Church in Western Washington continues its focus on providing a safe environment for all minors and vulnerable adults in our care. Special procedures, training and reporting protocols were adopted in 1990. Our policies, training and procedures are reviewed frequently and have been updated several times.
To report any suspicion of abuse by any Church personnel, please contact local law enforcement. In addition, anyone who has knowledge of sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy, an employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Seattle is urged to call the archdiocesan hotline at 1-800-446-7762.
As Catholics, we believe that every life is sacred. Each person is created in the image and likeness of our loving God. Violence and abuse of any kind are unacceptable, and we have a serious responsibility to work towards their end. Together, we must do everything we possibly can to protect children.
[http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-139.cfm] USCCB Statement, August 16, 2018