My Dear Parishioners,
I Ask for Your Forgiveness.
For those whose innocence was unjustly taken from them, I am sorry. For those who lived in isolation, confusion, doubt, and darkness for being victims of abuse, I am sorry. For not having people to whom one could open up and share the suffering, I am sorry. For the mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and other relations of the victims who share in the pain and distress of those they love, I am sorry. For the years of silent suffering by those trying to heal from such deep personal wounds, I am sorry. For all the tears shed, and sleepless nights trying to forget the past, I am sorry. For all the ways of escaping that led to further destruction, I am sorry. For those who have suffered carrying the sins of others, I am sorry. For the understandable anger, resentment, and hatred towards leaders of the Church, I am sorry. For all those who have been scandalized and left the Church because they no longer believe they can trust her, I am sorry. For those who were drawing closer to the Church and have given up hope, I am sorry.
For when we used our positions of influence and power to take advantage of those who looked up to us, we were wrong. For when we lived lives of duplicity, having secret hidden lives, we were wrong. When we have despised the mission entrusted to us, we were wrong. When we cared more about appearances than reality, we were wrong. When we ignored the voice of our conscience, we were wrong. When we thought that we were better than others, we were wrong. When we lived to please ourselves and used others, we were wrong. When we covered up and hid our sins and mistakes, we were wrong. For when we abandoned the responsibility to form future priests, we were wrong. When we covered up the ugly reality, and out of cowardice, did not face reality, we were wrong. For all those who knew abuse was happening and did not confront the abuser, did not report to superiors, but looked away, we were wrong. For Bishops and others responsible who reassigned abusers, we were wrong. For not understanding the pain the victims live with, we were wrong. For all the pride, selfishness, lies, and lust, we were wrong.
For all of these things and the sorrows that only God knows, I am sorry; we were wrong and I ask for your forgiveness.
God, you are our Father, have mercy on Your Church, purify her, cleanse her, and renew her. Jesus, you are the innocent one who suffered, intercede for us. Mary, you experienced the evil that man is capable of, be with us.