Boston Archbishop: 'Sorrow' over Child Sex Abuse Scandal Is Still Deep

By Chris Boyette
January 5, 2012

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley released a letter expressing sorrow over the sexual abuse scandal.

(CNN) Ten years after public recognition of serious sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic priests within the Archdiocese of Boston, Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, the archbishop, issued a letter and his reflections on the "problem with a history far deeper than any ... had imagined, that had been wreaking havoc along its course."

On Wednesday O'Malley released a document contemplating the abuse crisis over the past decade.

"The life of the Church in the Archdiocese of Boston (and throughout the world) was forever changed by the revelations of clergy sexual abuse that dominated the news in January of 2002," it began, "As an Archdiocese, as a Church, we can never cease to make clear the depth of our sorrow and to beg forgiveness from those who were so grievously harmed," it went on.

The Archdiocese released O'Malley's reflections two days before the 10-year anniversary of the first Boston Globe articles that broke the story in 2002, exposing decades of sexual abuse by Catholic priests, as well as bringing to light a veil of silence within the Church, implicating Church officials in covering up the abuse by shuffling pedophile priests around the diocese.

"Survivors have made clear that the Church must do everything possible to make sure that what happened to them never happens again," O'Malley wrote, "On behalf of the entire Church, I pledge our vigilance as we continue to help those that had been harmed."

O'Malley said his reflections were not to be interpreted as "a final word, or the closing of a chapter," but rather an expression of progress made so far, and a guide for what he said would be the Church's continued diligence in doing everything possible to prevent such abuses in the future.

"There will never be a time to presume that the crisis is over or behind us," said O'Malley.


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