I don’t get EWTN and so have not had access to the actual words of the conference. But I am mightily cheered by the forthright and clear acknowledgement of responsibility by Bp. Gregory.
The Penance that is necessary here is not the obligation of the Church at large in the United States, but the responsibility of the Bishops ourselves.
We are the ones, whether through ignorance or lack of vigilance, or – God forbid – with knowledge, who allowed priest abusers to remain in ministry and reassigned them to communities where they continued to abuse.
We are the ones who chose not to report the criminal actions of priests to the authorities, because the law did not require this.
We are the ones who worried more about the possibility of scandal than in bringing about the kind of openness that helps prevent abuse.
And we are the ones who, at times, responded to victims and their families as adversaries and not as suffering members of the Church.
Preach it! We’ve got a long haul ahead, but I am heartened to the point of tears to see such a clear admission of responsibility for this catastrophe. Now, Bp. Gregory, you have to have the moxie to face how you guys got us here: by ignoring the Tradition and permitting a culture of contempt for chastity and orthodox to grow up in the Church.