The following letter from Bishop Sheridan was read at weekend Masses Aug. 25-26 and is reprinted here for those who did not have the opportunity to hear it:
Dear brother and sisters,
The latest revelations concerning the crimes of priests in Pennsylvania, and the cover-up by some of the bishops of six of the Pennsylvania dioceses over a period of 70 years has sent another wave of disgust and justifiable anger throughout the Catholic Church in the United States.
While our thoughts and prayers are first for those who suffered abuse at the hands of priests and bishops, I join with my brother bishops in our determination to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to provide effective oversight of ourselves, as well as complete transparency whenever - and against whomever - a credible accusation of abuse is made.
I can assure you that every measure has been taken to ensure that these crimes do not occur in this diocese. This past week we had the regular outside audit of our policies and procedures for the protection of children and young people. We were found to be in compliance with the regulations that have been in force in the dioceses of the United States for a decade and a half. I will be meeting with all our priests in October, at which time we will review our policies in the light of the horrendous disclosures from Pennsylvania.
I plan to hold an interactive Facebook Live session on Thursday, September 13, at 7 p.m. At that time I will do my best to respond to any questions that may be put to me regarding this scandal.
You can submit your questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Monday, September 24, at 6 p.m., I will offer a Mass of Reparation at St. Mary’s Cathedral. I that hope many of you can be with me.
There are many good and holy priests and bishops in our country - men who are as sickened by the behavior of our brother priests and bishops as are you. They need your support. They need to know that you recognize their efforts to carry out their ministry with complete integrity. Likewise, our seminarians want you to know that it is their intention to be truly holy priests who will serve God and His Church in accord with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please pray for our priests and seminarians.
This very sad time, I am confident, will bring about a much needed purification of the Church.
Be assured: God has not abandoned His people.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Michael J. Sheridan
Bishop of Colorado Springs