By WILTON D. GREGORY, Archbishop of Atlanta | Published August 16, 2018
My heart and the hearts of our archdiocesan faith community are with the people of God in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. We grieve with the victim-survivors and their loved ones, especially those who were disbelieved, neglected, or ignored when they came forward to tell Church officials of their torment. We pray for all who have been traumatized and dispirited by these revelations, and for faithful clergy who must bear this shame moving forward. Absolutely nothing can dispense the culpability of those who have harmed and violated our people in the name of religion, nor those who concealed knowledge of those horrific acts. Catholics and people of good will everywhere have been scandalized again by these events.
All Catholics, including so many good and generous priests, are rightly angered, confused, and embarrassed by this testimony that the leadership of the Church failed to care for our people with compassion and honesty. To you and to all victim-survivors and their loved ones, I pledge my commitment in this Archdiocese and as a member of the body of bishops in this country to take whatever next steps are necessary to ensure vigilance and accountability and to foster healing.
While much has been done in the Church in the United States to advance the protection of children, youth, and all who are vulnerable, the revelations over the last several days and weeks have proven that not enough has been done. For this reason, and to beg for the mercy of God, for His healing, and for the courage of bishops and Church leadership to take the next steps, today I led a Holy Hour with our priests at St. Dominic Chapel in the chancery, and I encouraged those who could not attend to do the same in their parishes at that time.
May Jesus continue to send the cleansing and purifying fire of the Holy Spirit upon us all.