My Brothers and Sisters in the Lord:
I write to you today to report the findings related to certain action items I communicated in my September 8, 2018 letter addressing the sexual abuse crisis as it has impacted our Diocese.
In my letter to the faithful, I announced that, by today, I would issue a comprehensive Financial Accountability Report regarding the settlement amounts for past claims of clergy sexual abuse of minors from the establishment of the Diocese to the present, along with a verified summary of the financial support currently provided by the Diocese to any priest who has been accused of sexual abuse of a minor and who is currently on administrative leave or has been laicized.
The much-needed financial accounting that is the focus of this report only hints at the profound toll of human and spiritual suffering caused by the sexual abuse of children. My hope is that as we communicate these findings, we will further the process of healing and reconciliation, address the legitimate desire for change, and restore your confidence in every level of leadership so that we can fully realize the divine mission of the Church.
Allow me to conclude by offering a personal reflection. My heart breaks at the harm to victims and betrayal of the faithful caused by the sin of abuse, and the Church’s repeated failure to act decisively and transparently to protect young people. I wish to express my heartfelt apology to all those affected by this tragedy. I also recognize that restoring trust will require the heroic witness of holiness on the part of every priest, especially myself. I am confident that the Lord will heal and strengthen us, one person at a time.
I pray that this financial report and other measures we are taking represent the beginning of a new chapter of transparency and accountability in the diocese and a significant step toward bringing closure to all those who have sought justice and a full accounting of an issue that has deeply wounded so many people and life of our entire Church.
During these troubling days, please be assured of my prayers for you and your families. I also ask that you continue to pray for the lay leadership of the Church, our clergy and for me.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano
Bishop of Bridgeport