February 18, 2013

The Catholic Church's efforts to prevent clerical sexual abuse and protect children around the world will be "a long-term effort," said Father Robert Oliver, a Boston priest who began work Feb. 1 as the promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.

"All of us – every single person has difficulty coming to understand what this really is and how prevalent it is in our societies across the world," said Oliver, whose position includes monitoring and investigating cases of priests accused of sex abuse.

When one first hears of a case of abuse, he said, "every single one of us begins with denial."

That is why the entire Church, at all levels, must make a concerted effort to educate its members about the reality of abuse and the best practices for protecting children, he said Feb. 5.