My dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

My friends, I want to begin by thanking you for your continued faith in light of the recent scandals rocking the Church in the United States. While none of these new disclosures is directly connected with the Diocese of Burlington, they do affect us collectively as Catholics. I have found myself to be frustrated, angry and outraged as I have read and learned more and more about the Archbishop McCarrick scandaland the Pennsylvania report.

I am embarrassed as a Catholic and, most especially, as a bishop, that this is all continuing to happen almost 16 years after the first major disclosures of the sin of sexual abuse of children and the cover up by bishops. I am particularly saddened for the victims of abuse by clergy and for victims’ families, as they once again have the reality of what happened to them and the inadequate response of Church leadership to their suffering repeated.

Over the past few years here in the Diocese of Burlington, we had begun to “turn the page” and speak positively about our faith instead of apologizing for the sinful behavior of our clergy and shepherds. Now, we seem to be back at stage one. I know that you and I will get through this because we are men and women of good will, good hearts and strong faith in Jesus Christ. He does not leave His Church orphans.

That having been said, I want to assure you that if any new allegations of abuse come forward, I pledge to continue to be absolutely transparent and cooperative in our response. My fervent prayer is that we may continue the good work we have begun together in the Diocese of Burlington.

May I conclude by asking for the continuing intercession of Our Blessed Mother,

Mary the Queen of the Church, to help us all to persevere in hope and in spreading the Good News of salvation in her Son Jesus Christ.

The Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne

Bishop of Burlington

Aug. 22, 2018, Memorial of the Queenship of Mary

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