OF RAPID CITY SD
Accused Priests: 11
Alleged Victims: 31
See Cathy Lynn Grossman, Survey: More Clergy Abuse Cases Than Previously Thought (2/10/04) with AP table of data for 74 dioceses.
The John Jay Study contains information about the extent of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. The Diocese of Rapid City cooperated with the study by releasing information pertaining to allegations of sexual abuse by priests assigned to this diocese. The National Review Board Study provides helpful insights, especially in regard to how the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy was dealt with by church leadership.
The Diocese of Rapid City fully supports the efforts that have been made to determine the scope and nature of the tragic events that occurred during the last half of the past century. The conclusions drawn in the studies make it clear that some leaders of the Catholic Church either did not fully understand, or did not acknowledge, the breadth and depth of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy. Both studies, while sobering, provide the Catholic Church with yet another opportunity to address this very serious problem.
The Diocese of Rapid City has policies and programs in place that are
designed to prevent the occurrence of sexual abuse, including background
checks and Safe Environment training for priests and for those staff and
volunteers who work with young people. Candidates to the priesthood are
carefully screened and undergo psychological testing. A review board,
composed mostly of lay persons, deals with allegations of sexual abuse.
Victims of clerical sexual abuse can be assured that they will receive
pastoral care and healing. They are encouraged to contact me or Fr. Dan
Juelfs, the Vicar General, at 605-343-3541 or the victims assistance coordinator,
Maryann Tully at 605-209-3418.
CONTACT: Sharon Zeller
Sexual abuse scope, nature are defined
The John Jay Report contains information about the scope and nature of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by clergy, according to Bishop Blase J. Cupich.
“The National Review Board Study provides helpful insights into
the causes and context of clerical sexual abuse of minors, especially
in regard to how the problem was dealt with by Church leadership,”
While he agrees past mistakes were made regarding decisions made in situations in which clergy sexually abused minors, the Rapid City bishop is “especially concerned for the faithful clergy who have served the Church so well.”
In a letter to priests of the Diocese of Rapid City, he affirmed the words of Justice Ann M. Burke as she spoke during the National Review Board press conference February 27:
“I want to address a special word of respect and admiration for the priesthood and the priests of the United States,” said Burke. “They are the Lord’s treasured gift to his people. They are men of holiness and generosity. They nourish the people of God by their sacrifice and goodness. I know that the events of this crisis have been a terrible pain for all the faithful priests of our nation. We stand in solidarity with them and their unblemished ministry. We urge all Catholics to be sensitive to the agony this crisis has brought to bear on their clergy who live exemplary lives in the parishes across our nation. While the actions of a small portion of Catholic clergy have been responsible for failing to live responsibly, our words and actions honor the work of all those who have been faithful.”
The Rapid City bishop said that, “while sobering, both reports provide the Catholic Church with yet another opportunity to address this very serious problem.”
He said the Diocese of Rapid City has policies and programs in place
that are designed to prevent the occurrence of clerical sexual abuse of
minors. Background checks are conducted on priests and on all staff and
volunteers who work with young people.
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.