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April 22, 2002

Statement Regarding Vatican Meetings of April 23 and April 24, 2002
Anthony Cardinal Bevilacqua, Archbishop of Philadelphia

The Holy Father has invited to Rome the U.S. Cardinals for a special meeting in order to address issues related to the abuse of minors by some members of the clergy. At this time, it is not possible for anyone to know the specifics of the outcome of this meeting.

I believe it will be another opportunity to give more information to the Holy See regarding the gravity of this problem in the United States. I also feel it will be an important step in securing, as much as is humanly possible, the safety of our children and in restoring confidence in the Church and in the clergy.

Like my brother Cardinals, I depart for Rome assuring our faithful that their bishops are dedicated to caring for the flock and that we continue to seek the best means to address this painful situation. I can state without any hesitation that the victims of sexual abuse, as well as the terrible suffering which they have endured, are foremost in the minds and hearts of the bishops and particularly in the minds and hearts of the Cardinals as we address the various aspects of this painful scandal.

I ask all of the faithful to pray for us that our meeting in Rome with the Holy Father will bear much fruit as we strive to bring healing, comfort and peace to those who are suffering as a result of this scandal.


Cathy Rossi

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