Toronto's Archbishop Thomas Collins released a pastoral message regarding the issue of sexual abuse and the Church. The message was read as the homily at every Mass in all 225 Toronto parishes this weekend.
The message was also recorded by Toronto's prelate:
In addition to the video, the Archdiocese of Toronto website includes a written copy of the message in several languages.
In the letter, Archbishop Collins states:
These scandals are dramatic exceptions to the fundamental reality of priestly goodness, for almost all priests serve faithfully, in the imitation of the Good Shepherd, and lay Catholics’ daily experience of that service is true consolation in these difficult times. But just one priest gone wrong causes great suffering, and as we hear of evil done by some clergy in our own communities and around the world, we are all filled with dismay. Steady reflection upon this painful reality challenges us to work more effectively to do all that we can to ensure that this evil does not afflict the vulnerable in the future.
The Archbishop notes that Toronto has operated under "sound protocols and procedures to deal with any accusation" since 1989, and added that a "qualified group of lay people, recognized as having relevant experience with youth, psychology, legal issues and ethics" will examine the procedure and by July 31st 2010 will "recommend any ways that our Procedure can be made even more effective."
The message concludes:
This is especially a time for all of us to pray deeply, humbly offering to God the Eucharist, Eucharistic adoration, the rosary, and our other daily prayers. Pray first of all for anyone who has suffered violence or abuse, in the Church, in their family, or in society. Pray also for all of us who serve you in any pastoral ministry, that each day we will be faithful to the office entrusted to us.
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