on April 14, 2014
By John L. Allen Jr. | GLOBE STAFF APRIL 11, 2014
Pope Francis asked forgiveness for the child sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic Church on Friday, the first time he’s done so as pope, and also said the church must be “very strong” in responding to the ongoing legacy of that crisis, including imposing forceful sanctions.
In remarks during an address to a French child protection group, Francis said he took personal responsibility for what he described as the “evil” of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
“I feel called to take upon myself all the evil that some priests — many, many in number, though not in proportion to the totality — to take it upon myself and to ask forgiveness for the harm they’ve done, for the sexual abuse of children,” the pope said.
“The church is aware of this harm,” he said. “It’s a personal and moral harm, but by men of the church. We do not want to take a step back in regard to treating this problem, and to the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, I believe we must be very strong.”
Some experts on abuse issues praised the pope’s comments.
Everett Worthington Jr., a psychologist at Virginia Commonwealth University who’s also written on the subject of forgiveness, called the pope’s statement “a costly act that moves the church in the direction of beginning to restore a sense of justice to those who were wronged and harmed.”
Victims’ advocacy organizations, on the other hand, urged caution, saying they’ve heard apologetic language before from leading church figures but are awaiting concrete action.
Gazzetta del Sud
Los Angeles Times
April 11, 2014
Vatican Information Service
National Catholic Reporter
International Business Times
April 11, 2014
Pope Francis asked for forgiveness on behalf of priests who sexually abused children and said the Catholic Church must do more to rectify the damage and punish the offenders.
New York Times
BY NICOLE WINFIELD
The evolution began last month when he named four women and an abuse survivor to a sex abuse advisory panel that the Vatican has suggested will address the critical issue of sanctioning bishops who cover up for pedophiles. ...
«Die Kirche ist sich dieses Schadens bewusst.» Die Kirche werde im Umgang mit dem Thema «keinen Schritt zurück» machen und «Sanktionen verhängen», sagte Franziskus dem Bericht von Radio Vatikan zufolge.
The American Conservative
By ROD DREHER • April 11, 2014
A public statement:
I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests, quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests, to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children. The Church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children…
Excellent words. Let’s see some excellent action. SNAP’s David Clohessy responds:
Pope Francis says he felt “called to take upon himself” the subject of clergy sex crimes and cover ups. He should. He is the world’s only global monarch and he continues to let this decades-old crisis fester and build by refusing to take even a single step that protects a single child or exposes a single wrongdoer.
Reuters says he is “using some of his strongest words yet” and Religion News Service says “in his strongest personal remarks yet. . .”
But if a husband keeps beating his wife, the tone, tenor or length of his words are irrelevant. ...
UPDATE: Here are comments from links posted in the comments section. First, someone put up this essay by Lee Podles, the orthodox Catholic writer who has done deep investigation on the scandal. Excerpt:
Francis is a fixer. Whenever a parish or diocese experience a disaster, a fixer is sent in, as O’Malley was to Boston. Francis is the papal fixer. He is changing the subject from sexual abuse by his charm, hominess, and willingness to let people indulge their minor vices without a censoring voice from the clergy.
A fixer differs from a reformer in that a fixer does not address the roots; he is not radical. He merely papers over the problem, merely puts a poultice on the cancer.
Published on April 14, 2014
The Catholic church has done nothing to warrant being forgiven, says a sex abuse victim.
“What Pope Francis said doesn’t mean a thing,” said the Mount Cashel survivor, who does not want his name used.
“He can bow his head, shuffle, look at the ground as he is walking, but this is nonsense.”
Last week in Vatican City, Pope Francis asked for forgiveness from people who were sexually abused by priests, and vowed that there will be no going back in the church’s fight to protect children.
Francis made the off-the-cuff remarks after coming under criticism from victims’ advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to the problem and ongoing demands that he sanction bishops who covered up for pedophiles.
By Kira Brekke
Pope Francis asked for forgiveness last week from those who have been sexually abused by priests and vowed to make changes to prevent future assaults. However, one victim said an apology doesn't solve such a deeply entrenched issue.
"There is a design flaw in the system of the Catholic Church that allows for this kind of behavior to go on and continue," Peter Isely explained to HuffPost Live's Ricky Camilleri."We’ve been through this cycle of apologies many times over the past years with popes, and so it’s hard to really not be somewhat skeptical about it."
Earlier this year, Pope Benedict defrocked more than 400 priests over the course of two years for molesting children, according to a document obtained by The Associated Press. As a result of this systematic issue, Isely said he always asks priests and clergymen just one question:
FACE of VATICAN MAMMON BEAST