Last Monday and Tuesday, October 8th & 9th the Priests and Deacons of La Crosse Diocese gathered at the diocesan center for the Fall Clergy Meeting. Bishop William Callahan addressed us; but this time it was not a usual address, rather a response to the feelings of distress; distress expressed by the people for the scandalous sex abuse cases. At the same time, he was grateful to those many Catholics of the diocese, who sent him emails sharing their feeling of pain and anger on account of this problem in the Catholic Church.
Besides expressing their pain, some of the people have expressed their suspicion that the money given as compensation for the sexually abused persons has been paid from the support given by the people from the Parishes. In other words, the money raised through Diocesan Annual Appeal has been made use of for paying compensation. Bishop Callahan expressed frankly that the money for such compensation has been from the fund given specifically for this purpose by some private donors and Insurance Companies.
He admitted that the feelings of the people are genuine and that he should respond to them. Hence, he has written a letter expressing his concern over this issue. The Bishop would like that this letter is shared with all the people of God in the Parishes. As per his wish, this week’s bulletin carries this letter as an insert. You are kindly asked to read the letter and understand him.
Besides sharing this letter with you, Bishop Callahan would like that we do the following spiritual acts in the Parishes:
- Act of Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to be recited after the First Friday Mass for sins committed by the Clergy against children and young people.
- Reciting the prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel, at the end of daily Mass to protect the Church from current evils.
- Three hours to be spent during Perpetual Adoration, to pray for the victims of abuse at the hands of the clergy, for the leaders of the Church to address this issue wisely and for the people of God, so that their faith may not falter.
I would like to state that we will observe these three spiritual acts in our Parish starting from this week.
May God’s Grace sanctify us,
Fr. Arul Joseph V.