Archbishop John Wester of Santa Fe participates in a news conference in 2016 during the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Spring General Assembly in St. Louis.

Archbishop John Wester wrote he was “ashamed” by decades of sexual abuse committed by Roman Catholic priests in an open letter to those who’d filed complaints and lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.

In a letter dated Thursday and read during Mass on Sunday, Wester professed his “profound regret and sorrow over the tragic and inexcusable harm done to you,” referring to the hundreds of claimants in a scandal that rocked the archdiocese for many years.

In the letter, Wester wrote: “The archdiocese takes responsibility for the abuse,” and apologized “to each of you and to all those who have been harmed by sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic clergy in this archdiocese.”