Because of Bishops Like This II (A Letter to Parishioners)

A few days ago I shared a post about an allegation of sexual abuse that occurred on April 14th in the diocese my family resides in. I posted the press release of Bishop Richard F. Stika along with the 27-minute-long video of the press conference held the day after the allegation came to light.

Today at all Masses, as promised, a letter by Bishop Stika was read to parishioners after the daily readings. In the case of my parish, our pastor read the letter and, in place of the homily, offered a reflection on this particular incident. He also reflected on how there are actually three victims whenever scandals take place within the ranks of the Church: the victims of the abuse, the innocent priests, and we the faithful.

My pastor mentioned that the victim in this case had expressed surprise and elation that Bishop Stika handled this case so rapidly and thoroughly. He said Mr. Tucker also mentioned in interviews that Bishop Stika’s handling of his case is a model that he sincerely hopes will be followed by others throughout the Church.

Bringing this full circle, then, in the video below, is Bishop Stika reading the letter he composed to his flock.

Bishop Stika’s Letter to all parishes in the Diocese of Knoxville 4-17-2010 from patrick murphy-racey on Vimeo.

Did I mention Bishop Stika has a blog too? Check it out.

  • Warren Jewell

    As I commented on Facebook to your 'Bishop Stika fan' post:Should you not have been a fan of your bishop all along, Frank? I mean, when I get on my ordinary's back (Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Chicago) I am still gracious and supportive. I know he never has less than a plateful of hard work in front of him. And, even when I think that he is wrong, he is still a gracious leader and gentle soul. God be with your bishop and mine, and they with God forever.

  • Frank

    LOL. Warren, until today I had no idea he had a Facebook Fan page or a blog.

  • Allison

    @Warren: You probably are a more attentive person than I am. Frankly, I think I am not alone among catholics in the pews that I don't think about my (NJ) bishop too much. I never have met the man and I have no sense of him as a person or a leader one way or the other. Sometimes, a person's noble qualities only come to light when they are tested by fire. These men have very tough jobs and I do pray for them all tonight. Bishop Stika looked so sad in the video. God bless him.

  • Warren Jewell

    I heard the shamed sorrow over the case. But, I am impressed, too, with the quiet determination from the steel he has for a backbone. He may have insisted on its pulpit reading so that the reading pastors had that "Don't touch our babies!" reach them, too.@Allison: In part, my attentiveness came with the solitude of my late years; plus, the bishops are in their late years, too, as being like older brothers under God. If I were not attentive to my Church leaders, pastor to Pope, I would not hear the end of it from the Spirit, Who so often uses my contemplative prayers to guide me. He reminds me that the line from Jesus Christ, God made man, and His ordained in His Church, is a lot shorter than we realize. "Do you think that We put them in those majestic garments and vestments because they AREN'T majestic?" "Enough!" my left arm is 'saying' – gotta rest the poor thing. My prayers are with all of you who read in YIM Catholic.