April 6, 2023
CONTACT: Justin Huyck, Director of Communications, (330) 744-8451, ext. 320, email@example.com
The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, makes the following statement after the April 5, 2023 release of the Maryland Attorney General’s report on child sexual abuse:
“The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown grieves with all victims and survivors of clergy sexual abuse. We are committed to walking with them and being agents of healing, working with them to ensure that this evil scourge never happens again. The recent release of the Maryland Attorney General report opens the wounds of hurt and loss once again.
“The reference to the late Bishop James Malone, the third Bishop of Youngstown, and how the John Hammer case was dealt with then no doubt triggers a wide range of emotions. As Bishop, I apologize for all hurt and harm to anyone who has been abused by a cleric. I want to assure the faithful but most especially victim survivors, that the Church responds to allegations of clergy sexual abuse immediately and much more effectively now than it did in generations past because of the implementation of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, independent review boards, background checks, safe environment coordinators, victims assistance coordinators, greater screening and scrutiny of priesthood candidates, clergy misconduct policies, and ongoing education and formation for everyone.
“Additionally, Pope Francis has revised Church law to ensure that nobody can be in ministry who is guilty of sexual abuse. Furthermore, bishops who are negligent in the handling of abuse cases will be held responsible. The Church continues her pursuit to end this evil and to help bring about healing for victim survivors.”
The Diocese of Youngstown’s response to allegations of abuse by clergy or Church personnel is governed by civil law and its Safe Environment Policy for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, available at https://doy.org/safe-environment/. The Diocese of Youngstown encourages anyone who has experienced misconduct by a clergy member or church employee to contact public authorities or the diocese directly through Dominic Colucy, Victims Assistance Coordinator at 330-744-8451, ext. 293, or via the confidential diocesan response line: 330-718-1388. Mr. Colucy’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.