Bishop's Message to the People of the Diocese
Jun 3rd, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011 – Feast of the Ascension
These past few weeks all of us have endured the consequences of our human failure. The destructive sins of a few and the serious lapses in communication have caused us shame, anger, and confusion.
There are victims that are hurting, and others who have been left vulnerable by our processes. As you know, in the past two weeks, one priest was arrested and we removed another from ministry. They are the first sitting pastors to be removed in our Diocese in more than 20 years.
These are sobering realities, particularly for those who knew and trusted them. We are assessing what went wrong and applying our analysis as we move forward. This past week, I met with our Independent Review Board chairman and discussed the objectivity of our decision processes. I have also met with parishioners, our priests and Chancery staff, as well as the media. These meetings and discussions will continue.
As bishop, I take full responsibility for these failures and sincerely apologize to you for them. Clearly, we have to do more. Please know that we have --- and will continue to cooperate with all local authorities regarding these matters.
While we must deal with these difficult and trying issues we also must give thanks for the daily accomplishments of our lay faithful, priests and others for the many good works that continue on behalf of neighbors, sick or poor, young or old.
You generously responded to the need of people devastated by recent storms. Our food pantries and advocacy for the disadvantaged are second to none in our community.
These difficult days have also been marked with celebrations of our faith: First Communions and Confirmations, school graduations, weddings, anniversaries and Ordinations and other ceremonies. These blessings are noticed and counted, not lost.
On Pentecost Sunday, June 12, I will offer the 9:00 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Please join me. At the same time I ask our pastors to offer the Pentecost Mass in your parishes – for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon this local Church, that God may give us whatever gifts and graces we need to carry forward His commission.
+Bishop Robert Finn