WASHINGTON (September 17, 1998)--Bishop Anthony M. Pilla of Cleveland, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference released the statement below on September 16. The statement was released at the conclusion of the meeting of the Conference Administrative Committee, which met here September 15-16.
Statement of the Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla, Bishop of Cleveland and President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference:
"Fidelity in marriage and truthfulness in communications are fundamental moral principles. For anyone who has failed to live up to them, repentance, to be sincere, must include the intentions not to sin again and to heal any hurt which has been caused.
"The President has indicated his sorrow over his behavior, his acceptance of blame and his desire for healing. If he maintains these intentions, then forgiveness for him as a person is the appropriate response, in terms of personal morality.
"To whom much has been given, however, much is expected. As President, he is an example for others. Thus, he needs to consider the real, public, and practical steps he should take to repair the scandal he has given in the fundamental meaning of the word -- that his behavior may become a source of sin in others. As for his accountability in terms of public office, it is up to the constitutional process to determine the appropriate response."
September 16, 1998