Bishop: Pray for the Victims

Louis Blythe | Unsplash |

The Rt. Rev. Audrey C. Scanlan, Bishop of Central Pennsylvania, writes to members of her diocese about allegations of past sexual abuses by priests of the Diocese of Harrisburg:

I bid your prayers for those who will find this report to be difficult, and perhaps include the name(s) of clergy well known to them. Pray for those who have suffered abuse at the hands of any perpetrator, and for those whose faith in the church and in God will be tested by the unveiling of this report. Some of those who are affected by this letter may be members of our own Church, as the make-up of our denomination includes those of varied religious backgrounds.

We in the Episcopal Church have confronted our own shortcomings in the area of sexual misconduct. Our own shameful history has led to the development of safeguarding training protocols; our vigilance is ongoing.

Sexual violence, abuse, and exploitation is never acceptable. Those who are violated in this way experience deep and soul damaging injuries that degrade the dignity of God’s dear creation of humankind. The shame and guilt that result from this kind of physical, emotional and spiritual injury is arduous to bear.

… May God the Father bless you,
God the Son heal you,
God the Holy Spirit give you strength.
May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body,
save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country;
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.

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