Editor’s Note: The following reflection from Bishop Kevin Vann was written and submitted to OC Catholic newspaper on Wednesday, August 15, the feast day of the Assumption of Our Lady. 

My dear sisters and brothers in the Lord,

It is with the utmost sorrow that I write to you in this time of great scandal and tribulation in our Church. Many people in leadership, particularly among the episcopacy, have failed the people of God. There can be no ambiguity about this.

The release of the Pennsylvania’s Grand Jury report yesterday confirms that we who lead the Church have a great responsibility to take action against a predation that can only be called satanic.

In light of the revelations surrounding Archbishop McCarrick, not to mention the situations in Honduras and Chile, I now know that the review process needs to be expanded to include claims from seminarians and priests so that they, too, are protected from sexual abuse by those in power. Additionally, I will review our process with my leadership team to confirm that it is as robust as possible.

A competent independent national investigative body comprised of qualified professionals needs to be created so that if we have systemic issues within our Church, they can be thoroughly reviewed and addressed. I pledge my support to this and will allocate diocesan funds for this purpose.

In this difficult time, please join with me to pray that our Church be purified, that all the people who have been wounded by abuse on the part of the clergy experience healing, and that I, along with the rest of Church leadership, act with wisdom, courage, and humility to fulfill the office that the Lord has entrusted to us.

Bishop Kevin W. Vann

Full text of letter at OC Catholic.

Los Angeles archbishop acknowledges “this is a sad and confusing time for the Church in this country”:

Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez urged the faithful to turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary to “purify the Church” amid recent revelations of sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church during a Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary.

“This is a time now for prayer and repentance and a time for examining our conscience, especially for those of us who are bishops and priests,” he said in his homily Wednesday afternoon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

“As we gather to pray today, we are aware that this is a sad and confusing time for the Church in this country. In recent days and weeks, we have heard new revelations about sin and abuse in the Church.

“All of us need to pray for every person who has been hurt by the Church, and we need to work to help them heal,” said the archbishop.

Full story at Angelus News.

More statements from California bishops: