Bishop Konderla issues a statement on the Pennsylvania Abuse Crisis

August 17, 2018

Two short weeks after accusations of sexual abuse against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick were made public, the Catholic Church in the U.S. faces another profound crisis. The Grand Jury Report in Pennsylvania has brought to light allegations of horrific, depraved, and inhuman offenses committed by some of the priests and bishops in the church against the most vulnerable in our care, our children.

As Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (“USCCB”), stated yesterday: “We are faced with a spiritual crisis that requires not only spiritual conversion, but practical changes to avoid repeating the sins and failures of the past that are so evident in the recent report.” I wholeheartedly agree.

The Diocese of Tulsa & Eastern Oklahoma (“Diocese”) works diligently to create and maintain a culture of safety and security for our children and vulnerable adults. We train each volunteer and each employee to understand, to identify, and to be able to report signs of sexual misconduct, grooming, and abuse anywhere that it happens. The Diocese has a zero-tolerance policy and has established clear channels of communication when it comes to reporting abuse.  If you would like to see how we handle reports of abuse or if you would like to report any abuse, you can find our policies here: (www.dioceseoftulsa.org/diocesanpolicies)

In agreement with Cardinal DiNardo, I too “apologize and humbly ask your forgiveness for what my brother bishops and I have done and failed to do.” In particular I say to my priests that I am sorry that this failure of episcopal leadership has cast a pall on the sacred vocation to which you have pledged your lives.  I promise you and the people in Eastern Oklahoma that I will work with my brother bishops to eradicate this evil, to erect structures of accountability, especially for us bishops, and to strive toward holiness.

As I mentioned in my August 2 statement on Archbishop McCarrick, (www.dioceseoftulsa.org/news) I encourage the Church in Eastern Oklahoma, as we approach the Feast of Saint Michael, Saint Gabriel and Saint Raphael, the archangels, on September 29, to pray the Novena of Saint Michael for the protection, healing, and unity of the Church.  Personally, I will observe Fridays as days of fasting and penance with particular prayer for victims of abuse anywhere that it occurs, in the church, in the home, in schools or anywhere else. I invite all the faithful in our diocese to do acts of spiritual reparation in order to affirm the integrity of the Church’s mission through personal holiness and virtue in consideration of the victims and their relatives.

I offer my humble and sincere prayers for all those souls who have been affected by these moral failures, and that, with the help of God, steps will be taken soon to assure that these immoral acts are never again repeated.

Most Rev. David A. Konderla, Bishop of the Diocese of Tulsa & Eastern Oklahoma
August 17, 2018

An August 17, 2018 statement from the Vatican can be found here:  https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-08/vatican-responds-to-pennsylvania-grand-jury-abuse-report.html

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