In light of recent allegations and worldwide reports of child sexual abuse and other forms of abuse by clergy, the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese of St John’s–Basseterre which includes St Kitts and Nevis, Montserrat and the British Virgin Islands said that there is no excuse or justification for their “shameful” and “evil” actions which have nothing to do with the office of the sacred priesthood to which these men were called.
In a statement issued in early September, Bishop Robert Llanos said the diocese condemns the actions of the abusers and stands firmly in support of the victims. He said that the Roman Catholic Church, including his diocese, is committed to helping anyone impacted by such sexual abuse.
Bishop Llanos referred particularly, but not exclusively to the allegations made by the Pennsylvania grand jury report on priest sexual abuse over a seventy-year period in the US. He said, “One can only imagine the complex set of emotions generated by these revelations like anger, disappointment and despair. There must be a deep sense of betrayal, as there should be, when clergy choose to prey on the vulnerable and conceal these despicable acts thereafter.”
Bishop Llanos mentioned that there is a procedure already in place worldwide to deal with any allegations presently and in the future. This procedure is governed by a “no tolerance policy document” and managed by the Vicar General of the Diocese.
The bishop said in the face of such disturbing revelations, faithful must remain a people of faith and hope “united in the love of Christ our eternal High Priest”.
He reminded citizens that it is the responsibility of all to look out for and protect the vulnerable especially the children.
“Let us take this responsibility seriously so that events like these are not repeated anywhere and at any time in the future,” he said.