I write to you as the Shepherd of the Diocese of Fairbanks with a very profound sadness in my heart as more information surfaces regarding abuse in our Church by Church personnel; but more than anything I am most saddened by the cover up and lack of oversight by Church personnel and leaders. Please see the statement given 27 August from Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, President of the USCCB at http://www.usccb.org/news/2018/18-143.cfm.
As more and more information surfaces in the Church, we must continue to pray for spiritual conversion and healing of the Church through penance, prayer and fasting. As we gathered in Fairbanks for Spiritual Formation Days, 21-23 Aug, we had a very successful day of prayer, fasting and penance on 21 August. All parishioners of the Road System parishes were invited to participate in a midday Mass at the Cathedral which was filled. Also, from 8am-5pm we had exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament with the rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet prayed throughout the day. We received many positive responses from participants to continue this. Pat Tam created a powerful Prayer Service that was used throughout the Y-K Region that received great support. Many participants were supportive and encouraged more days of prayer in the future.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26). These words of Saint Paul forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons. Crimes that inflict deep wounds of pain and powerlessness, primarily among the victims, but also in their family members and in the larger community of believers and nonbelievers alike. Looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient. Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated. The pain of the victims and their families is also our pain, and so it is urgent that we once more reaffirm our commitment to ensure the protection of minors and of vulnerable adults.