U.S. Bishops Awaiting 2 Reports on Sexual Abuse

WASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 17, 2004 (Zenit.org).- The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference is preparing for “a very sobering and important milestone” when two reports on clerical sexual abuse are released next week.

Referring to the reports due out Feb. 27, Bishop Wilton Gregory said: “One is a descriptive study on the nature and scope of the problem of sexual abuse of minors by Catholic clergy and the other is a report from the National Review Board to focus the issues for additional study.”

The Belleville, Illinois, bishop said in a statement: “I have not seen the reports, and so I cannot comment on their substance. But I want to reaffirm that the bishops requested these studies so that we could understand as fully as possible what caused this terrible occurrence in the life of our community to make sure that it never happens again.”

He added: “My heart goes out to all who have suffered, and I assure them especially that the bishops are committed to fully implementing the Dallas Charter and will continue to work with the Office of Child and Youth Protection and the National Review Board to reach out to victims and prevent such abuse from occurring in the future.”