We the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church do hereby sincerely and humbly repent of our many sins over the many years – sins to which all human-kind is grievously subject – sins which have caused such great anguish for so many – and sins for which we seek forgiveness and reconciliation with our most loving and merciful, Creator – God.
Our church hierarchy’s mis-directed decision to prioritize protection of “the Church,” or more accurately ourselves and our priests – both those priests not offending and those priests offending – while arguably well-intentioned it was, in fact, short-sighted, incomplete, ineffective, mis-leading, wholly misdirected, and sinful in the sight of our merciful God, our faithful congregants, and all the unfaithful, whose unfaithfulness we strengthened rather than challenged.
Our actions are most grievous to us. Our sin violates the sacred trust and confidence placed in ministry by both God and the flock – both within the Catholic faith and without. Being so entrusted imposes great responsibility and burden to be faithful and obedient to God’s commands and obligations to teach and perform His truth and avoid grieving the Holy Spirit.
Most pointedly we seek the forgiveness of all the young victims and families who have been greatly wounded, whose afflictions continue, and for whom the salve of monetary consideration is wholly inadequate, and if not inappropriate, is surely unacceptable if not further sinful in the eyes of our Lord and Saviour. This is particularly so if it stands alone as the Church’s pitiful response as some form of alms or penitence, and in substitution for unconfessed sin, and our recommitment to serving God.
Going forward, we the Church and its hierarchy hereby recommit our lives, hearts and souls to full and constant obedience to God and all of God’s Word, including in particular recognition and acceptance of God’s ominous warning:
“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck
and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matt 18:6
We are grievously aware and seek forgiveness for our sins committed also against those who we have caused to either leave the Church, abandon their faith, or whose unfaithfulness we have encouraged. We pray that all of these souls will seek the wisdom of God and His Word, and not the misguided direction and conduct of sinful and disobedient men, whether these men be inside or outside the Church.
If ever the power, mercy, grace and love of our Almighty God to forgive sins of a repentant sinner can be demonstrated – we pray it will be seen in God’s forgiveness of the sins of the Roman Catholic Church.
As we sincerely repent and seek the forgiveness of both God and our fellow man, please pray for us, for our strength, courage and re-commitment to our devotion to God and His Word. Be it God’s Will, we shall also pray for renewed but ever-watchful, conditional confidence and trust in the Church’s leadership and ministry. However, our greatest prayer is for all people’s ultimate trust and faith to be placed not in man – but in God and His Word – the Creator and Master of us all – a trust and faith that can NEVER fail nor be mis-placed.
P.S. Please pray with me that the above (draft) letter will soon be written or adopted by the Roman Catholic Church; it is so greatly needed. Further, being thoroughly familiar with the civil litigation process – including litigation involved in this subject matter from both Plaintiff and Defendant perspectives – a letter as suggested coming from the Church will result in the Church’s saving substantial monies – monies all produced from charitable gifts made by faithful congregants to be devoted to God’s work and His teachings.