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Catholic Bishops Prepare to Release Statement

Catholic Bishops Prepare to Release Statement

Posted - Feb. 12, 2004 at 5:09 p.m.



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Carole Mikita ReportingCatholic bishops around the country are about to release a statement on priests and sexual abuse of children.

Bishop George Niederauer says the national study will be released at the end of this month, but he wants to tell Utah Catholics and the wider community about what's happened here in the past and what's been done about it.

Bishop George Niederauer, Diocese of Salt Lake City: "I'm happy to say, we've taken the steps we need to take, at least we feel we have. But we have to be constantly vigilant. We have to continue, and this is the most important thing of all, to reach out to victims and their families, to help them toward healing."

The Conference of Catholic Bishops commissioned a study nationwide about the nature and scope of clergy abuse of children. In Utah over a 53-year period the diocese says there were 18 credible allegations made against 13 priests. None of them is serving in the ministry now.

15 of those offenses were reported between 1963 and 1984 and three reported since then.

Bishop Niederauer says the diocese cannot change history, but church leaders can make sure that they don't repeat it.

Bishop George Niederauer: " We can make very sure by the measures we put in place. By our safe environment programs, by our screening of candidates for any office in the church, ordained or un-ordained, that we are not letting in anybody we shouldn't be letting in."

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