Bishop Michael Sheridan, head of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, will appear in a first-ever interactive Facebook live session at 7 p.m. Thursday to answer questions from the public about the Catholic Church’s clergy sex-abuse scandal.
Questions can be submitted beforehand to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The event will appear on the diocesan Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/webmasterdiocs/videos/674652422908060/
Sheridan has received “a good response,” in terms of questions posed in advance of Thursday night’s event, said Veronica Ambuul, editor of the Colorado Catholic Herald, the diocesan newspaper.
“I would say that it shows that people are definitely concerned about this topic,” she said.
A 900-page investigative report a Pennsylvania grand jury released last month found more than 300 priests had sexually abused more than 1,000 children in six dioceses in Pennsylvania since 1947, often while church leaders covered up the crimes.
One, “offender” priest, the Rev. Stephen E. Jeselnick, had worked at Holy Trinity Parish in the Diocese of Colorado Springs from June 30, 1983 to Oct. 10, 1985.
But the Diocese of Colorado Springs “never received any reports or complaints that Jeselnick engaged in any type of sexual misconduct during the twenty-eight months he served in the Colorado Springs parish,” Sheridan said in a news release last month. Jeselnick also had worked at the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Since its inception in 1984, the Diocese has received few allegations of child abuse and taken allegations of sexual abuse seriously, Sheridan said.
In a pastoral letter sent to parishes on Aug. 24, Sheridan stated, “I join with my brother bishops in our determination to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to provide effective oversight of ourselves, as well as complete transparency whenever — and against whomever — a credible accusation of abuse is made.”
An estimated 176,000 Catholics belong to the Diocese of Colorado Springs, which includes all of El Paso County, to Parker on the north, Buena Vista and Leadville to the west, and east to the Kansas border.
Sheridan also will preside at a Mass of Reparation at 6 p.m. Sept. 24 at St. Mary’s Cathedral.