Boston Cardinal Marks 10th Anniversary Of Crisis

Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley is marking the 10th anniversary of the start of the clergy sex abuse crisis with reflections on events he says "forever changed" the Roman Catholic church worldwide.

O'Malley released a letter and his reflections on Wednesday, two days before the anniversary of a 2002 Boston Globe story that sparked a wave of revelations about dozens of pedophile priests and the church leaders who transferred them between parishes while hiding their crimes.

O'Malley said Wednesday that the crisis will never be behind the church, and it can never cease to "beg forgiveness" from those who were harmed.

He said the church has since enacted reforms that protect children. O'Malley says 300,000 children have had training to spot abuse and more than 60,000 church workers and volunteers are checked annually for criminal records.

O'Malley said that leaders of the church "continue to make it a priority to resolve claims of clergy sexual abuse pending against the Archdiocese of Boston."

But some victims' groups have responded by saying the cardinal still isn't acting quickly enough.

"We don't know what process he uses when he decides whether a priest must be removed, but a big misconception is that Cardinal O'Malley is immediately removing priests upon receipt of an allegation," said Anne Barrett Doyle, of "He absolutely is not. His policy doesn't even require him to do that."

O'Malley also asked Catholics who have left the church to return to make it stronger and safer for all people.

With reporting by The Associated Press and the WBUR Newsroom

-- You can read O'Malley's letter below:


This article was originally published on January 04, 2012.

This program aired on January 4, 2012. The audio for this program is not available.


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