Statement from the Catholic Bishops of Minnesota Regarding the Expiration of the MN Child Victims Act

(May 25, 2016) - The last three years have brought fresh light to the painful reality of sexual abuse and those who have been hurt by it. We, the bishops of the state of Minnesota, cannot imagine the pain those individuals and their families carry with them and the courage it takes to tell someone, “I was abused” and relive what happened. We apologize for their pain and we thank them for coming forward.

 While we cannot say or do anything to return the innocence of youth that was stolen, we will work to restore broken relationships with family, friends and loved ones and help heal the pain caused to so many. We promise that we will continue to work every day to make sure our churches, schools and communities are safe for all people – especially children.  When an allegation of sexual abuse is made against a clergy member or someone else in the Church, we will not be silent. We will continue to report every allegation to law enforcement immediately and cooperate with them every step of the way. We also promise to continue stringent hiring standards, background checks for employees and volunteers who interact with children, and specialized training for employees and volunteers to make sure they are able to recognize the signs that might suggest that young people are at risk or in danger.

 We apologize to all of those who have been hurt and to their families and friends who have been affected by that pain and loss. We are truly sorry.

 Please join us as we continue to pray for all victims and survivors of sexual abuse.

 The Catholic Bishops of the State of Minnesota:

 Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

 Auxiliary Bishop Andrew H. Cozzens, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis

Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner, Diocese of Crookston

Bishop Paul D. Sirba, Diocese of Duluth

Bishop John M. LeVoir, Diocese of New Ulm

Bishop Donald J. Kettler, Diocese of Saint Cloud

Bishop John M. Quinn, Diocese of Winona