“We’re very very sorry for what’s happened,” said Bishop Gerald Vincke, Bishop of Salina.
Bishop Vincke said he was devastated and saddened over the findings of 14 clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.
“These are the priests that baptized them or their babies or presided at their wedding or did their parent’s funerals and so they had a lot of trust in them, and I’m sure a lot of them feel betrayed right now,” said Bishop Vincke. “We’ve betrayed you. “We’ve betrayed your trust and now we want to do all that we can to do things the right way.”
Bishop Vincke requested the investigation into clergy files to identify any potential cases of abuse. He said it’s also an effort to be more transparent, hold leaders of the Catholic faith accountable, and rebuild trust.
“I just thought it was necessary to be open to the people that this is what’s happened in the past,” said Bishop Vincke. “Not only was there abuse that happened which was totally, totally wrong but also as well to be honest that yes, the Diocese has made some mistakes in the past.”
Bishop Vincke admits he was worried how people in the 86 parishes were going to react after learning about the substantiated allegations.
“I’ve been going around to all the parishes in our Diocese to apologize for what’s happened,” said Bishop Vincke.
Now that these substantiated allegations of abuse are known, Bishop Vincke hopes the Diocese can start the healing process.
“We really believe when we get things out into the light it’s really when healing can take place and to really work with them,” said Bishop Vincke.
Bishop Vincke also released a letter today addressing the list of substantiated allegations. Click the icon below for the complete letter.