MASON CITY, Iowa - As more information is released surrounding sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church, an Archbishop is offering his take as he visited North Iowa on Thursday.
Just weeks ago, a grand jury report shook the nation stating 301 priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania over the course of 7 decades.
Archbishop Michael Jackels, the leader of the Archdiocese of Dubuque, was in Mason City Thursday afternoon holding a back to school mass at Newman Schools, and says he wants the public to know proper steps are and will be taken in cases like these.
"We want to make sure that no child or young person is harmed in any way, most especially in this kind of horrendous way."
To that end, the Archbishop adds that there are steps for those who are active or wanting to join the priesthood, including mandatory background checks, psychological evaluations and safe environment training, reporting allegations to civili authorities and the Archdiocesan Review Board, and being permanently removed from ministry if found guilty.
"Whether it's in college or in theology seminary, our interest is in helping them to grow in their imitation of Christ, and to have the heart and mind of Christ, which is the heart of a humble and loving servant who even sacrifices himself for the benefit of others."
An official statement from the Archbishop regarding the report will be included in the Mason City Epiphany Parish church bulletin this weekend.