As a humble shepherd of the Catholic Church in Utah, together with my brother bishops in the United States, I express my personal shame, distress and anger concerning the sexual abuse committed by some of our priests, bishops and Church leaders against our children, young people and adults whom we are supposed to serve and to protect. It is distressing that some leaders have mishandled allegations of abuse, covered up such sinful acts and were not held accountable.
I share the sentiments of many who feel stunned, enraged and scandalized by the past and recent revelations of these misdeeds and the mishandling of allegations of abuse by some of our Church authorities.
In view of these grave sins, I beg forgiveness for the wrongdoings of my brother priests, bishops and other Church ministers and for failing in our responsibility to be the true shepherds Christ called us to be. I also ask for your prayers for all the victims and survivors of sexual abuse that they may come forward to receive the help, support and healing they need. Let us pray for the abusers and perpetrators of these crimes that bring tremendous pain and suffering to victims, and to the families of both victims and perpetrators, as well as for our church leaders, so they can carry out a more vigorous and renewed commitment to safeguarding and protecting everyone under our care. Our Diocese of Salt Lake City pledges to take action to the best of our ability to review our policies and programs, hoping and praying that we can prevent these sins from happening again.
As believers in God’s mercy and compassion, let us be people of hope. Pray that by the grace of God, light may come out of this darkness and that this crisis will bring conversion of heart, renewal of our faith, reconciliation with God and with one another, and most of all peace in our Church and in every heart. Thank you for your patience, consideration and support. May God bless us all!
The Most Rev. Oscar A. Solis, Bishop of Salt Lake City