Bishop Releases Names
Dear Parishioners of St. Francis de Sales,
After speaking with Fr. Wilson, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, this morning, we have decided to write to you, our parishioners, this weekend.
The Vatican recently concluded a meeting "On the Protection of Minors in the Church." The three key words that the meeting focused on were "responsibility", "accountability", and "transparency".
On Friday, March 1st the Catholic Diocese of Columbus released the names of all clergy who have been credibly accused of sexually abusing minors since the beginning of our diocese, 1868. This is an historic step in the history of our diocese toward greater responsibility, accountability, and transparency regarding the crime of the sexual abuse of children. The list is preceded by a cover letter by Bishop Campbell. You can access the list and the letter at:
I share Bishop Campbell's sentiments of "sorrow, sadness, and anger over such behavior" as well as the hope that these disclosures will "bring healing to all victims and their families."
Bishop Campbell wrote in his letter: "I urge anyone with claims of abuse by clergy or Church personnel to contact law enforcement immediately and also our Victim’s Assistance Coordinator at 614-224-2251, 866-448-0217, or
." In addition, I welcome any victims, or others affected by this scandal, to contact me directly at the parish office, for pastoral assistance. We also have three pastoral-clinical counselors here at St. Francis de Sales, who offer Christian and clinical counseling for our parishioners and the greater Newark community.
In the midst of this difficult time, there are also signs of hope. The last instance of the credible abuse of a minor by a member of the clergy in our Diocese occurred in 1992. Also, after each of the personnel files of all clergy who have ever served in our diocese since 1868 (over 2,000 clergy) were reviewed, the instance of abusive clergy is 1.7%. I am grateful for the fidelity of the 98.3% of bishops, priests, and deacons who have served and continue to serve in our diocese. (With that said, we know that even one instance of abuse is absolutely intolerable.) I am also grateful that the measures that were implemented in 2002-2003 in our diocese also appear to be working to provide a safe environment in order to protect all of God 's children. Over 62,000 people in our diocesan parishes and schools have been trained in the Protecting God’s Children program.
Throughout this time of trial and purification let us remain focused on growing in our faith in the person of Jesus Christ, living a life in the Holy Spirit and ever more dedicating ourselves to the on-going building up and renewal of our parish and the Catholic Church.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. David W. Sizemore
Pastor, St. Francis de Sales Parish
on Saturday, March 2 at 1:08PM