Statement of Archbishop Pilarczyk on Court Settlement
November 20, 2003
Today in the name of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati I am taking full responsibility for certain acts that occurred some time ago. Instances of child abuse that should have been reported to civil authorities were apparently not reported. I apologize to the household of the faith and to our civic community for this deficiency. It was wrong and I am sorry that it happened.
I am also announcing today the creation of a three million dollar fund to compensate persons who were abused as minors by the clergy or other agents of the Archdiocese. Compensation will be available to all victims whose abuse has not already been brought to closure by agreement or court decision. I expect that this mechanism for assistance will be in place and ready to go sometime early next year.
I realize, of course, that no amount of money can take away the pain and suffering of those who have been injured by sexual abuse as children. But I hope that the fund can bring a measure of closure and reconciliation to the victims of child abuse by agents of the Archdiocese. I hope that it will make it easier for those who have been injured to come to forgive those representatives of the Church who have harmed them.
Again I express my sorrow and shame at the suffering that priests and other Church employees have inflicted on young persons. A few years ago, I never would have thought that it would be necessary for a bishop to be making apologies like these. But it is necessary and I offer my expressions of sorrow and regret with the deepest intensity of which I am capable. Victims, please forgive us and help us to see to it that what you have suffered never happens again.