May 07, 2005

Ex-O.C. Catholic leader issues apology

The Orange County Register

The Orange County Register

Roman Catholic Bishop Michael P. Driscoll admitted Friday that his priorities were "horribly misplaced" when he helped supervise priests accused of sexual abuse in the 1970s and 1980s, as chancellor for the Diocese of Orange.

Driscoll, now the bishop of Boise, Idaho, posted a statement of apology on his diocesan Web site. In it, he said that although he had already apologized in June 2002 for his role in the scandal, he was doing so again in anticipation of a court-ordered release of diocesan personnel files expected to shed light on how he - and the Diocese of Orange - responded to complaints of child abuse against local clergy and other diocesan employees.

"I am deeply sorry that the way we handled cases at that time allowed children to be victimized by permitting some priests to remain in ministry, for not disclosing their behavior to those who might be at risk, and for not monitoring their actions more closely," Driscoll wrote.

"Yet, the focus at that time was to provide help to priests so they could continue in their vocations. I know now that our priorities were horribly misplaced. First and foremost, we should have done everything to protect the children."

Posted by kshaw at May 7, 2005 01:56 PM