Archbishop Cordileone calls for acts of reparation

"Attending to policies and procedures is necessary, by itself it is really superficial"

In response to the latest abuse scandals, Archbishop Cordileone calls for praying rosary daily, abstaining from meat on Fridays, and observing one hour of Eucharistic Adoration each week.

My Dear People of the Archdiocese of San Francisco,

The recent reports of episcopal negligence and malfeasance in the face of clerical sexual abuse, coupled with some reports of bishops themselves guilty of sexual predation, have reopened old wounds and inflicted new ones on victims, their families, the Catholic faithful at large, and indeed, the larger society.  This has been further fueled by a spirit of raw ambition on the part of some, who will stop at nothing to advance their careers and climb the ecclesial corporate ladder over investing themselves in serving the people of God.  Such behavior on the part of Church leaders is despicable, reprehensible, and absolutely unbecoming of a man of God.

I have emphasized this point to the seminarians of our Archdiocese in my recent summer meetings with them, and made it very clear that their vocation as diocesan priests is to serve God’s people where they are most needed in our local church.  This was not difficult to do.  I am inspired by their purity of motivation, their great love for Christ and his Church, and their desire to be faithful servant leaders.

I have been in conversation with the administration at St. Patrick Seminary, who have conducted a review of their policies on issues involving sexual abuse and harassment.  While the policies are thorough, I intend to discuss with the Seminary and its Board of Trustees ideas on how to more effectively implement these policies and ensure that they are followed.  I intend to do the same with regard to the policies of the Archdiocese with my Cabinet at the Pastoral Center.  These policies, and information on how to report abuse, are available on our Archdiocesan website (

While attending to policies and procedures is necessary, by itself it is really superficial.  What is called for at this time is penance in reparation for sins against faith and morals.  This is how we keep the righteous indignation that so many of us feel at this time from becoming an anger that divides the Body of Christ. 
Last year, in response to a request from some of the faithful of our Archdiocese, I consecrated the Archdiocese to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  This was on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of our Lady at Fatima.  At that time, I asked our people to live this consecration by observing what our Blessed Mother asked of us there.  I now ask our priests and people to engage in prayer, penance and adoration as an act of reparation for sins against chastity and the reverence due to the Blessed Sacrament, in accordance with our Lady’s wishes.

I repeat here what I asked of you then, and implore you even more earnestly to join me in:

  • Praying the rosary daily – and for families, to pray the rosary as a family at least once a week;


  • Practicing Friday penance by abstaining from eating meat and one other additional act of fasting (e.g., another form of food or drink, or skipping a meal);


  • Spending one hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament at least once a week.

After consulting with the Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese and my Cabinet, moreover, I will designate a day when together we will make an act of reparation, and how that will be conducted.  While I pledge to attend to policies and their observance, we all must be engaged at this time on the spiritual level.  Without prayer, penance and adoration in reparation for the horrendous sins rampant in our Church for very many years now, any efforts of the temporal order will be meaningless.

In the meantime, I ask you, our people to stay close to your parish priest.  Our priests make great sacrifices to serve their people with generosity and compassion.  They are there for you, attentive to providing you pastoral care.  I am grateful to them for their labors in the Lord’s vineyard, and pray that the divine assistance may be with them as they minister to you during this time of crisis.

                                                                                     Sincerely yours in our Lord,
                                                                                    Most Reverend Salvatore J. Cordileone
                                                                                    Archbishop of San Francisco

From Archdiocese of San Francisco website.


  1. Elizabeth T says

    I would add to the Archbishop’s direction……that the St. Michael the Archangel prayer be brought back and prayed either before all the Masses or after the Masses at ALL of the parishes of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. I believe that this use to be done decades ago and I think it is more than ever that we need to bring it back!!

  2. But will he admit homosexuals to the seminary?

  3. Elizabeth T. says


    Rest assured that between AB Cordileone and Father George Schultze both of whom are the ‘real deals’……
    St. Patrick’s will not be admitting homosexuals to the seminary!

  4. Acts of penance? What is the good ArchBishop doing to insure predators, and any enablers, are booted out? Perhaps a ‘one strike and you’re out’ policy that is enforced. In current circumstances, I believe one should report any abuse to the civil police before reporting to the Archdiocese. Get it on record before the hierarchy tries to talk you out of reporting it to the police.

    • Well said! Abstaining from meat is simply a bizarre suggestion. Recitation of the family rosary, albeit a lovely and worthwhile tradition, will do nothing for crimes already committed.
      . “Avoiding scandal” for the Church cannot possibly be a consideration in this nightmare. This IS the scandal. Call local law enforcement and then notify the local church authority.

  5. St. Christopher says

    Some wonderful things here, to be sure. However, as “Gil” notes, what about homosexuals and their sexual perversion. Surely, to begin, the good Archbishop needs to publicly state that these sexual crimes were homosexual in nature, not examples of priests acting on normal impulses that got out of hand. Second, no homosexuals can ever be admitted to the seminary. Third, each seminarian must be asked to publicly state whether he is homosexual and, if so, must leave. Fourth, all acts of atonement must be focused on the vile evil that the Church leaders themselves brought onto the institutional Church by engaging in and condoning homosexual sex. Fifth, open the diocesan files to civil authorities. If you avoid centering future atonement…

  6. So, what of Brian Bromberger, the openly “gay” Deacon in SF?
    Clean house Your Excellency!

  7. And what o the homosexual f Most Holy Redeemer parish which has continued with the Archbishop’s blessing. When he visited the parish, he said it was a “tenderizing” visit!


    The Bishops want to focus on pederasty and avoid discussing the real issue of homosexual priests which commit the majority of offenses or are engaged in adult male sex with partner(s).

    • People have said to give the archbishop time to clean SF up and, like you point out and infer, not much has been done. This also includes all the Catholic politicians in the area, starting with the “good Catholic” Nancy Pelosi.
      Talking a good game, misdirection or just plain lying has been the problem in the clergy. They need to lead, as they are charged with doing.

  8. The Archbishop’s recommendations for penance are predictable. However, they do nothing to insure the safety of the faithful, especially children. It is time for Archbishop Cordileone to open the personnel files of the Archdiocese and disclose the names of priests, nuns and archdiocesan employees who have abused children and adults. This action will be a good start!

  9. Dear Archbishop Cordileone, may I suggest you make your own day of reparation for allowing the abomination of desolation to continue at the MHR in the San Francisco Diocese!

  10. Mary Amelia says

    I too urge all churches to say the prayer to St, Michael as we did years ago. We also did this for the conversion of Russia…and perhaps this prayer, too, needs to be re instated. We all need to be saying the prayers to St. Michael and to our Guardian Angels several times daily. These simple acts of prayer and an act of penance as suggested by AB Cordiolene will surely help to cleanse our One, Holy, Catholic Church from the Devil. This should be done, not only in the Archdiocese, but throughout the United States.

    • Mary , Amen !, I liked the overall tone and directness of this letter , the time in adoration I have been doing myself this week .

  11. Elizabeth T. says

    Mary Amelia,

    You are SPOT ON!!!

  12. I strongly recommend to all CCD readers the book “Can We Save the Catholic Church? Yes We Can Save the Catholic Church!” by Father Hans Kung. In the book Father Kung, a highly regarded theologian and Catholic priest, outlines reforms for the Church which could help the Catholic Church flourish again and prevent its demise.

  13. Joan S Patton says

    I asked my pastor at Mary, Star of the Sea if we could start praying the prayer to St. Michael at the end of each mass. He said they would have to get permission from the diocese as that would be a change of liturgy. Has anyone else been told this and who do we contact for permission?

    • St. Christopher says

      “Joan” many, many churches throughout the USA pray the Prayer to St. Michael. In the Diocese of Arlington (VA) where my family mostly now resides, our church — St. Patrick — says it, as do St. Catherine of Sienna, Our Lady of Hope, St. John the Beloved, and others. Surely, Abp. Cordileone would grant permission for this prayer (which was initiated by a Pope — Leo XIII — after all). Good luck.

  14. In God We Trust…all others must have data! The scientific studies show that all homosexuals are not pedophiles and that not all pedophiles are homosexuals!

    • No, but many homosexual “priests” are pederasts.
      John Jay Report.

      • Less than one in twenty homosexual “priests” were pederasts, per the John Jay Report.

        Hopefully that number is far less now that the cover-up has been exposed.

        BTW, why did you put “priests” in scare quotes? They were validly ordained, “right”?

  15. The good Archbishop and his Human Resources team would do well to spend a week in retreat and reparation while reflecting on what they have done to contribute to the abusive priest problem. How many abusive priests have they transferred? How many children and adults have been harmed? How many expensive settlements have they negotiated?

  16. After Holy Mass n after the the singing I stand n in a loud voice say my St Michael prayer to drown the chatting which should not b going on which the priest should say something but does Not . I have not ask permission to say my prayer but than neither did the chat people!

  17. Dan: please present your evidence that Father Kung has “spread heresy”. His book, “On Being A Christian,” was a life changer for me and many others. Also, the theologian and priest, Father Karl Rahner, reviewed Father Kung’s writings and found no significant doctrinal or dogmatic errors.

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