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We should not regard the clerical sexual abuse scandal as a distraction from the church’s mission, as if, once we have somehow "rectified the problem," we can continue on as before. Rather, our shepherds, myself included, need to face and repent of the betrayal of trust. Authentic and heartfelt repentance by the shepherds of our church is not a distraction from our mission: It is the mission at this moment in the life of the church and her leaders.


— Bishop Edward J. Burns of Juneau, Alaska, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People

Victims and relatives of children who claim they were sexually abused by the Catholic Church hold placards as they stand outside the venue for Australia's Royal Commission Into Institutional Response to Child Sexual Abuse in Sydney Feb. 29. (CNS photo/David Gray, Reuters)