By David B. EvansPublished May 07, 2018 10:16:16In what was a rare example of a Catholic church in a major city using a confession to save a life, a priest confessed his sins and offered to help a woman who was being sexually abused by a neighbor.
It’s the latest example of Catholic faith in America being challenged by a flood of new faith-based initiatives and efforts to stem the tide of abuse and sexual misconduct that has plagued the church.
In the wake of a spate of sexual abuse scandals, some bishops and other religious leaders have taken steps to reduce the number of priests and nuns in their dioceses.
They have been criticized for failing to do more to protect women and children from sexual abuse.
And some bishops have even urged priests to help victims of abuse who have left the priesthood.
A priest confessing his sins in a Catholic parish in Philadelphia was one of many Catholic leaders to offer his help to the woman in question.
The confession came after a meeting of the local diocese’s pastoral commission, the board of religious advisers, and the local bishop’s office, where the woman was being held.
The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said she had been raped by her father at age 14 and was “hurt, scared and in fear.”
She said she wanted the priest to tell her about his crimes and help her.
He told her she was a good person who should stay with her father.
But the woman said the priest then told her: “I can’t help you.”
The confession and the ensuing offer of help came after months of discussion about how to help the woman and how to prevent further abuse, the woman told The Associated Press.
She was released after about a week of counseling, counseling and support.
The diocese said the confession and offer of assistance were the first time in its history that a priest was able to help someone who was sexually abused.
It said it would keep the person’s identity confidential.
The decision to make the confession in a church setting was not an easy one.
The woman, her family and several other women in the congregation had been praying for the priest, who has been the bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for more than 20 years.
The priest had recently been asked to take a leave of absence because of a sexual abuse case that involved a minor in his parish.
The priest said he had no intention of leaving the parish.
After the woman confessed, the bishop’s staff went to the Philadelphia archdiocese, where they met with the woman’s family and the priest.
The diocese declined to release the details of the meeting.