Author Archives: Office of Communications

Statement Regarding the Beatification of the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

The Diocese of Rochester appreciates the many accomplishments that Archbishop Sheen achieved in his lifetime in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide through media, thereby bringing the message of Jesus to a vast audience. His legacy in the area of communications made him a prophet in the future use of mass media to advance the teachings of Jesus, a phenomenon recognized by Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

At the same time, a person’s cause for beatification must entail a review of the person’s entire life. In this regard, the Diocese of Rochester has considered the tenure of Archbishop Sheen as the Bishop of Rochester. The Diocese of Rochester, prior to any announcements of the beatification, provided the Diocese of Peoria and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints through the Office of the Apostolic Nuncio with documentation that expressed concern about advancing the cause for the beatification of Archbishop Sheen at this time without a further review of his role in priests’ assignments. Other prelates shared these concerns and expressed them. There are no complaints against Archbishop Sheen engaging in any personal inappropriate conduct, nor were any insinuations made in this regard.

The Diocese of Rochester did its due diligence in this matter and believed that, while not casting suspicion, it was prudent that Archbishop Sheen’s cause receive further study and deliberation, while also acknowledging the competency of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints to render its decision. The Holy See ultimately decided to postpone the beatification.

A beatification process reminds us that we are all called to be saints to live with the Lord eternally in heaven, praying that the Lord judges us worthy to behold Him face to face in that beatific vision that brings everlasting joy. From his place with the Lord, Archbishop Sheen enjoys eternal peace and joy in the everlasting presence of God, Our Father, whom he did serve with dedication and zeal for the salvation of souls.

The Diocese will be making no further comments.

Statement on tragic Notre Dame Cathedral fire

Notre Dame Cathedral is a beloved, iconic church that for centuries has been a place and source of inspiration for the faithful. We are deeply saddened by the tragic fire and offer our prayers for the people of Paris, for the safety of firefighters and emergency workers battling the blaze and for all throughout the world who hold this beautiful Cathedral dear. We take heart in the statement today by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: “We are a people of hope and of the resurrection, and as devastating as this fire is, I know that the faith and love embodied by this magnificent Cathedral will grow stronger in the hearts of all Christians.” May Our Blessed Mother, Notre Dame, intercede for us in this time of trial as we contemplate her strength at the foot of the cross this Holy Week.

Statement concerning settlement process

With the passage of the Child Victims Act, the Diocese will conclude our settlement process involving Justice Robert J. Lunn, who has been serving as an independent neutral to resolve claims against the Diocese involving allegations of sexual abuse of minors. The Diocese now wants to assess where we are as we prepare to respond to and cooperate with the process set forth in this recent legislation. The program with Justice Lunn will not end immediately. Instead, all claimants who have now completed the investigation phase of the program will have their claims administered by Justice Lunn. When the process concludes, more than 30 claimants will have been heard. The Diocese has a long-established process of working directly with victims and will continue to do so.

HELP FOR VICTIMS
Victims of abuse should always report to the civil authorities. To report a case of possible sexual abuse and to receive help and guidance from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, victims are encouraged to contact the Victim Assistance Coordinator:
Deborah A. Housel
Phone (585) 328-3228, ext. 1555
Toll-free 1-800-388-7177, ext. 1555
E-mail: victimsassistance@dor.org

Statement regarding Jesuit priest

Statement Regarding Reverend Carsten Martensen

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester has received notice from the USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits that they have received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Reverend Carsten Martensen, S.J. The allegation dates to the 1970s. Father Martensen has been serving in campus ministry at Ithaca College and Cornell University in Ithaca since 2007.

The Province further states that Father Martensen has stepped down from all current assignments and public ministry pending completion of an investigation by the Province and recommendations by its independent Review Board.

The Diocese of Rochester has never received an allegation against Father Martensen during his ministry in the Diocese.

Community letter from USA Northeast Province of the Jesuits

Day of Penance and Mercy March 13

All Catholics in the 12-county Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester are encouraged to participate in a special Lenten Day of Penance and Mercy on Wednesday, March 13, 2019, to experience the healing power of Confession, formally called the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

Priests will be available at every parish. Details can be found at http://oec.dor.org/sacraments/penance-and-reconciliation/day-of-penance/

The Catholic Church believes the Sacrament of Reconciliation, is a graced opportunity for us to celebrate God’s forgiveness. The Sacrament calls us to a true sorrow for the sins we have committed, along with an intention to repair our lives and our relationships with God and our community. All Catholics are invited to attend, regardless of how long it has been since their last participation in the Sacrament.

The Diocese of Rochester has created a special website at http://forgiven.dor.org/ to explain the Sacrament and offer “how to’s.”

Statement on Passage of Child Victims Act

NYS Bishops’ Statement on Passage of Child Victims Act Jan. 28, 2019

We pray that passage of the Child Victims Act brings some measure of healing to all survivors by offering them a path of recourse and reconciliation. The legislation now recognizes that child sexual abuse is an evil not just limited to one institution, but a tragic societal ill that must be addressed in every place where it exists.

Sadly, we in the Church know all too well the devastating toll of abuse on survivors, their families, and the extended community. Every Catholic diocese in New York has taken important steps to support survivors of child sexual abuse, including the implementation of reconciliation and compensation programs. We are proud that these pioneering programs have not only helped more than a thousand survivors of clergy abuse in New York, but have also become a model for how to help survivors in other states and in other institutions.

Now, we hope that this same type of survivor-centered approach, that puts the emphasis on healing, is available to all survivors, regardless of when the abuse occurred, or who their abuser was¬ whether it was a priest, a coach, a teacher, a doctor, or, as is all too common, a family member. We have long called for strengthening the Child Victims Act and will continue to advocate for the elimination of the criminal statute of limitations, compensations programs for those who prefer it to litigation, and mandatory safe environment training for anyone who works with children.

We thank the brave survivors who have told their stories of abuse in every sector of society. Their witness has moved us all. We renew our commitment to combatting the monstrous crime of childhood sexual abuse and helping all survivors find recourse and reconciliation as they heal.

Timothy Cardinal Dolan
Archbishop of New York

Most Rev. Salvatore R. Matano
Bishop of Rochester

Most Rev. Terry R. LaValley
Bishop of Ogdensburg

Most Rev. Edward B. Scharfenberger
Bishop of Albany

Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio
Bishop of Brooklyn

Most Rev. Richard J.Malone
shop of Buffalo

Most Rev. John O. Barres
Bishop of Rockville Centre

Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham
Bishop of Syracuse

And the Auxiliary and Retired Bishops of New York State