“For those who may feel anger and resentment that we have come to this moment, STOP. We are here because of one reason: priests sexually abused minors. For that, I feel deeply ashamed. As your bishop, I apologize to victims/survivors for the harm, pain and suffering they are experiencing.
I also want to apologize to all the faithful priests, religious and laity whose good works may have been tarnished by this ongoing tragedy. This can be a difficult time to be a Catholic.
But with humble hearts you persist. You come to Mass. You support your parishes and schools. You contribute at record levels to support the mission of the Church. You do countless good works through Catholic organizations. With you, the Church will continue to serve hundreds of thousands of people, making major contributions to our communities, even as we proceed with this reorganization. You carry on because you understand that while the human dimension of the Church mirrors all of humanity’s failings, the Holy Spirit guiding her ultimately prevails.
Your faith is the rock on which we will build a renewed Church in southeastern Wisconsin. This is what gives me hope and confidence as we enter into this process. Just as the pain and suffering of those who have been harmed is beyond imagining, our financial reorganization will be painful, as it should be. This process will lay the groundwork for a new beginning. Like a damaged tree that is pruned drastically, I firmly believe our archdiocese will ultimately grow back, healthier and stronger, as long as our own faith remains rooted in Jesus Christ.”