-- ZENIT.org News Agency
Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles Releases Clergy Abuse Files
Stresses Need to Acknowledge "Terrible Failure" in Protecting Victims
By Junno De Jesús Arocho Esteves
LOS ANGELES, February 01, 2013 (Zenit.org) - Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles released a statement regarding the release of Clergy files of those involved in the sexual abuse of children. While the files document abuse cases that occurred several decades ago, Archbishop Gomez stated that it does not make them less serious.
"I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil. There is no excuse, no explaining away what happened to these children. The priests involved had the duty to be their spiritual fathers and they failed," the Archbishop stated.
Stressing the need to acknowledge the "terrible failure", Archbishop Gomez stated the need to pray for the victims of abuse and to support them in their healing while "restoring the trust that was broken."
Cardinal Roger Mahoney, Archbishop Emeritus of Los Angeles, and Bishop Thomas Curry, bishop of Santa Barbara have both expressed their regret and sorry for their handling of the cases. However, Archbishop Gomez stated that he informed Archbishop Mahoney that he will be relieved of administrative and public duties effective immediately. Bishop Curry, who served as Vicar for Clergy during the period of abuses, has requested to be relieved of his duties as Regional Bishop of Santa Clara.
"To every victim of child sexual abuse by a member of our Church: I want to help you in your healing. I am profoundly sorry for these sins against you," Archbishop Gomez stated.
"To every Catholic in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, I want you to know: We will continue, as we have for many years now, to immediately report every credible allegation of abuse to law enforcement authorities and to remove those credibly accused from ministry. We will continue to work, every day, to make sure that our children are safe and loved and cared for in our parishes, schools and in every ministry in the Archdiocese."
The Archbishop of Los Angeles concluded his statement saying that he will address the contents of the files in greater detail in the coming weeks.
"Today is a time for prayer and reflection and deep compassion for the victims of child sexual abuse. I entrust all of us and our children and families to the tender care and protection of our Blessed Mother Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe and Our Lady of the Angels," Archbishop Gomez stated.
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