Abp. Nienstedt: My pledge to restore trust
continue at The Catholic Spirit
I pulled the car over to absorb those words. Six weeks later I stood at my mother’s hospital bed and watched her die. It was an extremely painful time in my life, losing both parents within such a short period. My parents had been very close to me. They had a huge influence on who I am. I could not have asked for better parents.
I recall those moments now, because the pain and sorrow I felt then reflects that which I have heard from so many of you in your own suffering and disillusionment these past few weeks. I want you to know that I have been praying for all of you. I am experiencing that pain, too. The media have been filled with all kinds of accusations and unanswered questions. There is cause here for sadness, confusion and anger.
After almost a month, I have come to understand more clearly what has happened to bring us to this point. I am grateful to my leadership team, which has helped me process this understanding. Practically all of my senior leadership team is new, with an average tenure of less than a year. We have been searching for answers. And while there is more to do, we have arrived at a better picture of the truth.
The first thing that must be acknowledged is that over the last decade some serious mistakes have been made. We have indeed created many policies, procedures and practices designed to prevent and address clergy sexual misconduct. The new independent Task Force will review all of this and hopefully tell us what we can do better. I am committed to implementing those recommendations.