MADISON (WKOW) — Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese in Madison, reached out to victims of sexual abuse in a letter published Saturday in the Catholic Herald.
Morlino’s letter comes as Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the crime of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up. He demanded accountability but offered no indication of how he plans to sanction complicit bishops or end the Vatican’s long-standing culture of secrecy.
In Morlino’s letter, he focused blame on homosexuality as being behind the crisis.
"But to be clear, in the specific situations at hand, we are talking about deviant sexual — almost exclusively homosexual — acts by clerics. We’re also talking about homosexual propositions and abuses against seminarians and young priests by powerful priests, bishops, and cardinals," Morlino wrote.
He also urged those who had been hurt by a priest to reach out to the diocese.
"To them I turn and say, again, I am sorry for what you have suffered and what you continue to suffer in your mind and in your heart," Morlino wrote.
Morlino also decried the acceptance of sin and efforts to coverup the crimes.
"What is new is the seeming acceptance of sin by some in the Church, and the apparent efforts to cover over sin by them and others. Unless and until we take seriously our call to sanctity, we, as an institution and as individuals, will continue to suffer the “wages of sin.”
Read Morleno’s full letter HERE.