The details of abuse chronicled in the Pennsylvania attorney general’s report are searing. It would be difficult to read these accounts without feeling revulsion. Equally painful is the apparent lengths to which abusers were shielded from scrutiny of—and consequences for—their actions. Such actions are a disgrace for anyone: for members of the clergy devoted to the most vulnerable among us it is not merely shameful, but deeply sinful.
The pain and suffering visited upon innocent children can never be redeemed. Whatever paths their lives have taken, they will always bear the scars of their abuse. In using their spiritual authority to justify the abuse, these priests have despoiled the Gospel and diminished their victims’ capacity for love, trust, and faith.
As a Jesuit, Catholic university, Fordham unequivocally condemns the actions of the clergy and others who perpetrated and enabled the victimization of so many innocent children. In the coming weeks and months, we will explore how the University can rebuild trust that has been strained or broken by the horrific actions beyond our campus but within the Catholic community. I hope you will join our community as we pray for the victims’ healing and recovery.
Joseph M. McShane, S.J.