Archbishop O'Malley's Conclusion

Boston Herald [Boston MA]
February 26, 2004

The conclusion from Archbishop Sean O'Malley's statement on the Boston Archdiocese's release of a detailed report of sexual abuse by priests between 1950 and 2003:``One incident of child abuse is too many, one child hurt too much. We must all do everything that we can to make sure that the scourge of child abuse not only within the Church but in the wider society as well is wiped clean from our midst. The numbers are truly horrific, but they are also telling both in terms of extent of the problem and the time frame in which the magnitude of the problem became known.

"I extend to all the Catholics of the Archdiocese of Boston and to all people of good will my sorrow at what has taken place. I take some consolation in the fact that the number of incidents of abuse occurring within the last 20 years seems to have dropped so precipitously.

"I find consolation in the ongoing witness and ministry of the vast majority of priests of the Archdiocese of Boston who have remained committed to the ministry of Church and the witness of Christ's love for all in their manner of life. These past few years have not been easy for you, my brothers. The criminal and immoral actions against children by some of our brother priests has tarnished us all. Yet, hundreds of you have faithfully served and continue to serve the people of God in selfless love for others.

"Finally, I take great joy in the people of God who comprise the Church of the Archdiocese of Boston. The last two years have been a trial for us all. Our faith has been challenged and sadly some have left the Church in the wake of this scandal. Yet, the vast majority of you have chosen to remain and continue to live the good life of faith. Let us continue to pray and reach out to those who have in any way been hurt by this scandal. Please pray for me, your bishop, as I do for you, as well as for the victim-survivors and their families and the good priests of the Archdiocese. May we all continue through our actions and words to spread the Good News of Christ found most fully in the life and teaching of the Catholic Church. May God bless you all."