Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Archbishop apologizes in letter to Catholics

The Associated Press

        LOUISVILLE — In a letter to all Catholics in the Archdiocese of Louisville, Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly asked for forgiveness from victims of sexual abuse and other parishioners for “the ways in which the Church has betrayed your trust.”

        In the letter, which was sent last week to 70,000 households, Archbishop Kelly wrote, “We have made mistakes, but we will be different in the future.”

        Attached to the letter was a four-page report, “Restoring Trust,” in which the archdiocese provided details of the more than 100 lawsuits filed by men and women who claim they were sexually abused within the Roman Catholic Church. The plaintiffs claim officials were aware of the abuse but did nothing about it.

        According to the report, 458 diocesan priests and hundreds of religious-order priests have served in the archdiocese since the first alleged incident of sexual abuse — about 50 years ago. According to the most recent figures, 21 priests have been named in the 154 suits filed since April.

        “Even one case of abuse is too much, but it is important to put the numbers in perspective,” says the report, which was written by the archdiocese's staff and approved by Archbishop Kelly.


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