The following statement was made on 18 March 2010 by the Most Reverend Pierre Morissette, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops:
“Articles published earlier today in the newspapers The National Post and La Presse refer to the sexual abuse of minors by those exercising authority in the Catholic Church, in Canada and in other countries.
We strongly deplore the tone of these articles which are offensive to Canadian Catholics and imply that the Church has not responded to the problem of sexual abuse. This is false, and the accusations are evidently influenced by prejudice.
The attacks against Pope Benedict XVI are unjust and incorrect. In fact, the Holy Father has shown an example of great leadership, by apologizing to victims and by supporting the initiatives of Bishops to prevent future cases of abuse.
For many years, the position of the Catholic Bishops of Canada has been clear on these heinous crimes. In 1992, the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops published its document From Pain to Hope, recommending that Bishops respond fairly and openly to allegations of sexual abuse, offer assistance to victims, and respect the jurisdiction of civil authorities.
Such problems unfortunately may surface again in the future, but our resolve, inspired by the commitment and the leadership of the Holy Father, will never cease.”