GERRITSEN BEACH — Bishop Frank Caggiano of the Diocese of Bridgeport, Conn., who is originally from Brooklyn, said survivors of clerical sex abuse “need to remain at the center of all of our efforts because they are our brothers and sister.”
“They were betrayed and they were hurt. Some lives were just shattered. So, moving forward does not mean leaving them behind,” Bishop Caggiano said on Oct. 3 at Resurrection Church, Gerritsen Beach, where he preached the homily at Rosary for Life’s 27th annual Mass for Life.
Bishop Caggiano made his remarks two days after the release of results of an independent investigation that identified 281 victims of abuse in the Diocese of Bridgeport over the diocese’s 65 years and found 71 priests who were credibly accused.
“This is the time for (the youth) to understand that even when a family is hurt, even when there is betrayal in a family, the hope is that the family endures,” Bishop Caggiano said.
“That they don’t walk away, but they stay and fight to make sure that the change is permanent and their voice is heard, and they become a voice for change, a positive change in the church and in society,” he said.
Bishop Caggiano became bishop of the Diocese of Bridgeport in 2013. Born and raised in Gravesend, he was an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Brooklyn from 2006-2013.
The pro-life Mass in Resurrection Church was celebrated by Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, who beforehand said the only way to win the battle against abortion is for Christ to win it through the Christian people who should pray, particularly through Mary.
Bishop Chappetto also spoke of the power of prayer, particularly through Mary.
“She brought life into the world, our life, our hope, our strength and our peace,” he said. Jesus Christ,” he said. “So, to have her as a patroness of this work is very important.”