Bishop Robert Deeley of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland will observe a day of prayer and repentance on Sept. 14 in response to recent news of past sexual abuse in other dioceses and allegations of abuse against Archbishop Theodore McCarrick.

Deeley says the day will serve as “an opportunity for reparation for the sins and crimes of bishops in failing to protect our young.” It will include a celebration of Mass at 12:15 p.m. at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

“Anyone who wishes to join me in this act of repentance is welcome to join me at the cathedral,” Deeley said.

The day of prayer comes weeks after a grand jury report showed more than 1,000 children were molested by hundreds of Roman Catholic priests in six Pennsylvania dioceses and that senior church officials covered up the abuse.

McCarrick, a cardinal and archbishop of Washington, resigned last month after several news outlets published reports that he had abused a 16-year-old altar boy as well as a number of seminarians.

“The last few weeks have brought a great deal of anger from laity, priests and religious directed at bishops who mishandled cases of sexual abuse of minors in the church. That anger is justified. I can think of nothing worse than this incomprehensible abuse and any attempt to cover it up,” Deeley said in a statement.

“As your bishop, I am doing penance for the failure of some bishops to act appropriately to protect young people and who have failed in reflecting the holiness and integrity demanded by the gospel.”

Deeley encouraged anyone with information about sexual abuse of a minor by church representatives to contact police and Michael Magalski, director of the office of professional responsibility for the Diocese of Portland, at 321-7836.

Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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Twitter: grahamgillian

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