Archdiocese Of Boston to Respond to Attorney General's Report

Includes Accusations Against Priests Since 1940; Many Must Be Verified

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BOSTON, JULY 24, 2003 (Zenit.org).- The Archdiocese of Boston has received the Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly's report and announced on Wednesday that it will respond after giving it careful study.



"A report of this depth and length requires a serious and thorough reading before any substantive response can be made. We intend over the next few days to carefully review the findings of the report and its recommendations before making any further public response," a statement reads, which appears on the diocese's web page: http://www.rcab.org.

"The Archdiocese of Boston reiterates its commitment that the archdiocese will treat sexual abuse of a child as a criminal matter, that it will end any culture of secrecy in the handling of such matters, that it will adopt and implement comprehensive and effective measures to prevent child abuse, that the archdiocese will appropriately respond to any allegations of abuse, and that the archdiocese agrees that efforts will be made at every level to ensure the safety of children," the statement adds.

"The archdiocese believes that it has already taken substantial steps in those directions and is willing to work with interested parties, including the Attorney General's office, to improve the present Policies and Procedures that have been issued to ensure the safety of children within the archdiocese," it stresses.

"As always, we ask all to continue to pray and work for reconciliation and healing within the Archdiocese of Boston," the statement concludes.

The 91-page report, includes accusations of the sexual abuse of at least 789 children by 250 priests or other workers of the Archdiocese of Boston since 1940.

The accusations have yet to be verified.

The document refers to a "massive, inexcusable failure of leadership" in the Archdiocese, Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly said on July 23.

"But that leadership is about to change, and we hope this report will draw a clear line between the past and a hopeful future," Reilly added at a Boston press conference held a week before the July 30 installation of Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley to head the Boston archdiocese.

The report said evidence gathered during a 16-month criminal investigation "does not provide a basis for bringing criminal charges against the archdiocese or its senior managers."

Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly's report may be read at: http://www.ago.state.ma.us/archexecsumm.pdf.