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December 7, 2015 | Volume 91 Number 3

COMMENTARY

A Statement from our Bishop

‘Spotlight’ brings painful reminder to abuse victims and families

In November the film “Spotlight,” about the Boston Globe investigation that uncovered child sexual abuse in the Church, was released to theaters nationwide.

“We acknowledge the important role of the Globe reporters who uncovered this horrible issue for necessary action,” said Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo. “We also understand the release of this film may serve as a painful reminder to survivors of sexual abuse by clergy, as well as their loved ones, all of whom who have been grievously injured by this evil.

We know the whole Church has also suffered because of these crimes against innocent children.

Since 2002, when the abuse was first revealed, the Catholic Church in the United States and The Church in the Diocese of Richmond have worked diligently to implement the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.

In addition, the Diocese implemented the Safe Environment Regulations, which provide a procedure and structure to address allegations of sexual abuse of minors. These regulations also include a child protection program to include safe environment training (VIRTUS) and background screening for all diocesan clergy, employees and volunteers working with minors.

In 11 years we have trained and conducted background screenings on more than 40,000 adults and have remained in full compliance with the Charter.

I join my brother bishops and Pope Francis in again extending profound apologies for this abuse, and for the Church’s sometimes shamefully inadequate response at that time.

As your Bishop, I continue to ask and pray for survivors’ forgiveness and for God’s healing touch on all His children and His Church.

Through diligent efforts, prayer and God’s grace, we continue to live our belief that all life is precious and must be protected.

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