Bishop: Penn State scandal reopens church wounds

By RACHEL ZOLL | November 14, 2011 | 1:50 PM EST

BALTIMORE (AP) — The president of the U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference says church leaders are praying for abuse victims and the Penn State community amid allegations that a former football coach sexually abused children.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan says the crisis reopens a wound in the church. He says bishops are once again hanging their heads in shame and contrition.

Former Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky is charged with sexually assaulting young boys, and school administrators are accused of not doing enough to stop him. Sandusky has pleaded not guilty. Catholic dioceses have received thousands of abuse claims against clergy in recent years.

Dolan says he'd welcome working with Penn State on a national abuse-prevention campaign.

Dolan made the comments at a news conference Monday at a national bishops' meeting in Baltimore.