January 19, 2005

Bishop addresses lawmakers at luncheon

Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA - The spiritual leader of Maine's 230,000 Catholics urged lawmakers Tuesday to support options for the poor, the vulnerable and the underserved as they struggle to divide up limited resources during the legislative session.

Bishop Richard Malone, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, hosted the church's 12th legislative luncheon at St. Paul's Center, located a block from the State House.

Installed 10 months ago as bishop, Malone met formally with legislators for the first time.

"The church, like you," he said, "cares for the common good of humanity. This is why the church becomes involved in debates and takes positions regarding public policy." ...

In his brief remarks, the bishop also acknowledged the impact the recent clergy sexual abuse scandal has had on the Church and its public image.

"The Church's credibility as a moral teacher has been diminished by the recent sexual abuse scandal from which we are, thank God, slowly emerging," he said Tuesday. "It was a horrific thing, and I am solidly committed to reach out to victims, to protect children through our church and by supporting legislation, to have every possible precaution in place to prevent such abuse in the future. ... Our credibility has been marred, but it does not mean that our moral doctrine has been compromised."

Posted by kshaw at January 19, 2005 08:51 AM