Catholic Bishop writes letter about abuse in the Church: 'There must be accountability'
LAS VEGAS (KSNV) —
An apology has come out from the Catholic Church.
Our local Bishop sent out a two-page letter calling abuse against children by priests "horrific."
This comes after Bishop George Leo Thomas did an interview with News 3 last week; addressing a scathing grand jury report out of Pennsylvania. The grand jury reports detailed accounts of sexual abuse involving 300 priests and over 1,000 victims in that state alone.
The report also concludes that abuse was concealed by church authorities.
The Bishop says there must be accountability across the world and here in our own community.
Bishop Thomas says there is zero tolerance for predators within the Diocese of Las Vegas.
On Sunday, his letter was posted on the Diocese of Las Vegas website. It was addressed to Friends of Christ and offered a humbled apology for abuse within the Catholic Church.
Bishop Thomas proposed for the church to publish the names of priests who have had credible complaints of sexual abuse against minors.
"Words are not enough. Promises have been made in the past, it's not enough. People want to see evidence of change," said Bishop Thomas.
Esther Miller Hatfield is a volunteer with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. She wants predators within the church prosecuted.
"Where are the people in the pews? Why aren't they outraged?" she said. "We want the statue of limitations in all countries, all counties, all states, all municipalities, all providences removed."
Emma Frances Bloomfield is an Associate Professor at UNLV who studies religion and creationism. She says communication is important.
"I think from the church, even a letter like this is pretty radical because it's recognizing a huge problem and putting words to a problem that some people want to sweep under a rug," said Bloomfield.
In fact, Bloomfield says this acknowledgment might even bring some people back into the fold if they see action being taken.