A Grievous Wound

Both Attorney Generals in New York and New Jersey announced last week that they would investigate sexual abuse in all the dioceses in New York and New Jersey.

All eight dioceses in New York State have promised complete cooperation and transparency. Our Diocese has stated: “The Diocese of Brooklyn has received the subpoena sent by the New York State Attorney General and we are in the process of reviewing it. We have been collaborating closely with law enforcement for many years and stand ready to work with her office on this investigation. In 2002, the Diocese of Brooklyn handed over all allegations of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest or deacon, to the district attorneys in Brooklyn and Queens. Since that time, we have adopted a zero-tolerance policy and have reported any and all allegations of sexual abuse to law enforcement.”

This review will be painful for all of us. Sexual abuse is a grievous wound caused by sin. Pray that this investigation will be thorough but fair. Many memories of serious hurt will certainly arise and the Church, in a spirit of humility and contrition, needs to respond. Please God, we will find that we as a local Church, in our diocese and in our state, have acted in a manner that is just for the victim, especially in recent years.

Pray that the healing so needed by victims of sexual abuse  will be facilitated by this process. This prayer, written in 2002 in the Diocese of Saint Cloud, might be good for us to pray with over the next few months:

Praise to you, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, source of all consolation and hope.

By your Son’s dying and rising He remains our light in every darkness, our strength in every weakness.

Be the refuge and guardian of all who suffer from abuse and violence.

Comfort them and send healing for their wounds of body, soul and spirit.

Rescue them from bitterness and shame and refresh them with your love.

Heal the brokenness in all victims of abuse and revive the spirits of all who lament this sin.

Help us to follow Jesus in drawing good from evil, life from death.

Make us one with you in your love for justice as we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life.

Giver of peace, make us one in celebrating your praise, both now and forever.


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