The director of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) in the Americas and his wife, who works as a dean in Zacharias Institute, have issued a statement, apologizing for their earlier response over the late apologist's sexual misconduct controversy.
In their three-page statement, dated Feb. 23, Vince and Jo Vitale have articulated their grief over the victims and regret over their actions for believing Zacharias' defense on the issue.
"We are grieved beyond measure for every one of the victims who has been abused in such appalling and reprehensible ways by Ravi Zacharias. There are not words to express our grief as strongly as we wish to. Sexual abuse-abuse of any kind-defies everything that the gospel of Jesus Christ proclaims about the sacred, intrinsic, undiminishable value of women, and indeed of every single person," the statement said.
The couple said that since the release of the investigation report proving that Zacharias committed the alleged sexual assaults, they have been praying that God would reveal the areas where they have failed. They acknowledged their mistakes and said that they are deeply sorry for them.
"And we have recognized some extremely sobering truths: first, our confidence in our friend, Ravi, was severely misplaced; Ravi abused people in horrific ways and then repeatedly and brazenly lied to our faces. On the heels of these truths came the sickening realization that by believing Ravi's lies and then passing on his false narratives, we in turn deeply hurt people-the very people most in need of our care-and we added to their pain. We are sorry. We are so very, very sorry," they continued.
The couple also stated that they regretted their action of not paying attention to Lori Anne Thompson in 2017, accusing Zacharias of misdeeds. They said that they failed to respect Thompson and did not use their public voice for a woman who was not being heard.
They have also realized that they failed to love the victims for not addressing the issues properly and that they allowed Zacharias to live a lie.
Vince, who also works as director of Zacharias Institute, blamed himself for perpetuating Zacharias' "false narratives" to people.
"...we continued to believe Ravi's lies, and then we perpetuated his false narratives to those who came to us with questions and concerns. We defended Ravi and quelled people's concerns on numerous occasions, in a sense asking people to trust our testimony based on our experience of Ravi while simultaneously not taking seriously other people's testimony based on their harmful experience of him. I [Vince] am particularly blameworthy for this because I did this not only within RZIM but also externally to ministry partners and others when they asked questions," he said.
They further said that they will do everything to support the process so that the victims will receive justice and cared for. They also commit to listen and learn from the victims.
In earlier reports, Christian and Missionary Alliance and RZIM have conducted separate investigations over Zacharias' sexual misconduct allegations. Both reports confirmed that the late apologist has indeed committed the sinful activities accused by Thompson and the massage therapists.
RZIM has since stopped its fundraising efforts and has recently removed the content from its website, leaving only two articles: an explainer providing reasons as to why it made the investigation public, and an open letter from its International Board of Directors.