On the eve of the holiest week in the Catholic church, Bishop Richard J. Malone has issued a video about the priest abuse scandal in the Buffalo Diocese.
In it, he apologizes for the "tremendous pain" caused to the victims, whom he asks to come forward to the police and the diocese. He said victims can call the diocese's victims' assistance line at (716) 895-3010.
The bishop said the list released by the diocese of priests accused of sexual abuse has "likely triggered feelings of great distress and even betrayal." He said he shares those emotions.
Since 2003, the diocese has trained more than 41,000 adults who come in contact with children, and has done 41,758 background checks on clergy, employees and volunteers, he said. Students also have been trained, he said. Malone said the diocese is committed to correcting the "mistakes and sins" of the past while helping victims.
"I want to encourage each of you to keep the faith, which I know right now might be pretty strained," he said. "I truly believe that the Church of Buffalo will be stronger for having weathered this storm."
He also expresses gratitude to the good priests of the diocese and encourages prayer for victims of "all abuse everywhere."
Story topics: Clergy sex cases