Statement to be read after all Masses, May 9-10, at St.

Bridget Parish, Seattle, at the end of the
announcements.

I’d like to read for you a letter that Fr. Okumu and I drafted together.

We would first like to thank everyone who came last Tuesday night for the open meeting with our
Archbishop about our former pastor Fr. Quigg. There were about 200 chairs put out, and people
were still standing all around the sides.

Besides Archbishop Sartain, five others from the Chancery Office were with us on Tuesday, all
Directors of various departments, so the Archdiocese was well-represented. [They were: the Vicar
for Clergy, Fr. Mulholland, as well as the Director for Senior Priests, David Reynolds, the Director of
Priest and Parish Services, Leigh Stringfellow, the Director of the Office of Communications, Greg
Magnoni, and the Executive Director for the Chancery, Dennis O’Leary.]

For those of you who were unable to come, or who found out about the meeting too late to come, I’ll
just say that our parishioners were a little angry from the very beginning of the evening, I think
understandably, and there was little patience with anything that sounded like an excuse or which
went off on a tangent. Archbishop Sartain admitted that mistakes were made, and apologized to our
community. He said that several times during the meeting, which went on for two and a half hours;
and he stayed until anyone who wanted to speak with him had the opportunity to do so. I think that
most people felt that our Archbishop was sincere. At the same time many of those in the room will
also be waiting to see what changes the Archdiocese makes in its procedures, in favor of greater
communication and transparency.

The Archdiocese has updated the statement that was sent out earlier, and they have posted it on the
Archdiocesan web site. They also have furnished us, as promised, with a link to the names of any
priests who have been laicized or whose ability to function as a priest has been taken away. We will
publish that link in next week’s bulletin, or you can call our parish office to get it, starting Monday.

It is probably accurate to say that there are some parishioners who were and are ready to forgive our
former pastor. It is also true that many other people still feel deeply betrayed, and forgiveness will
not come so easily. It’s a little like a family that learns that there’s been sexual abuse within the
family. Some family members quickly get to the point where they just don’t want to talk about it
anymore; and some need to talk about it and work it through. So, please be patient with us and with
your fellow parishioners as we work through this. In the meantime, I hope we can all pray for our
parish, especially for those who are hurt or betrayed, those who are angry, and those who are broken
in any way. We need to stay together as a parish, as a community, and it will be our job, and the role
of our Pastoral Council and other parish leaders, to steer a course for our healing as a community.

And of course, Fr. Okumu and I have been and will continue to be available to any parishioners who
want to talk with us about this or ask questions, whether by phone, email, or in person. Please do
pray for us as well.

Deacon Denny Duffell and Fr. Stephen Okumu

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