No pope has ever taken personal responsibility for the tens of thousands of children who were molested by priests over decades, as bishops moved them from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police
Since being elected last year it is the first time the head of the Catholic Church has made an apology for the thousands of cases of abuse by priests and bishops which had to come to public light before the church was going to do something against it. The church has came to embarrassment with several stories in many countries of the “evil” of priests and bishops who raped and molested children. Already some years the church leaders were noticed by people and by their own clergy, but did not do much. It took a lot of media attention before something came off the ground. Many times the leaders said they did not know about such cases, but when others came with proof they should have known they tried an other whistle. Pope Benedict XVI was not the brightest example in trying to escape the accusations.
At a conference to combat human trafficking and child exploitation, called ‘Church and Law Enforcement in Partnership’, survivors of sex-trafficking from Hungary, Chile and the Czech Republic, were also greeted by the Pope.
Hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences and organized by organized by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales the Vatican event brought sex-trafficking global police watch-dogs INTERPOL together with other police forces around the world. It also brought discussion between active members of the Catholic church, with members of foreign governments who are working today to slow the rising tide of crime in the worldwide human sex-trafficking industry.
“It is a crime against humanity,”
said Pope Francis on Thursday on the last day of the event that ran for two days on April 2 and 10.
“Our meeting today includes law enforcement authorities, who are primarily responsible for combating this tragic reality by a vigorous application of the law. It also includes humanitarian and social workers, whose task it is to provide victims with welcome, human warmth and the possibility of building a new life,”
continued the Pope.
“These are two different approaches, but they can and must go together. To dialogue and exchange views on the basis of these two complementary approaches is quite important. Conferences such as this are extremely helpful, and, I would say, much needed,”
Pope Francis added.
Today we may find a total different pope than the previous ones, who takes this matter very serious. By giving attention to what happened to all those youngsters in the past, he is giving forgiveness and forgetfulness a chance. On Friday he was asking forgiveness from victims and saying the church must be even bolder in its efforts to protect the young. It was the first time a pope has taken personal responsibility for the sex crimes of his priests and begged forgiveness.
The Catholic Church has faced numerous allegations of child sex abuse by priests around the world and criticism over inadequate responses by bishops. Earlier this year Pope Francis strengthened Vatican laws on child abuse, broadening the definition of crimes against minors to include sexual abuse of children.
While in office, predecessor Pope Benedict XVI apologised to victims of child sex abuse, saying he was “truly sorry” for the “sinful and criminal actions” committed by priests.
Francis’ off-the-cuff remarks were the latest sign that he has become sensitized to the gravity of the abuse scandal after coming under criticism from victims’ advocacy groups for a perceived lack of attention to, and understanding of, the toll it has taken on the church and its members.
The main U.S. victim’s group, SNAP, said it was waiting for more.
“We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words,”
said SNAP’s outreach director Barbara Dorris in a statement.
“Until the pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”
Vatican Radio, and Vatican Television gave screening material wich we also could watch on the Belgian Newschannels. We could see the Argentine-born pontiff talking very very slowly, saying he had formed a high-level group on the scandal including an abuse victim to probe the allegations and come clean on this matter which is haunting the Vatican for quite some time.
“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil that some priests – quite a few in number, (although) obviously not compared to the number of all priests – to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,”
he told members of the International Catholic Child Bureau.
Many adults who remember their childhood, where they got slapped in their face when they told their parents what had happened in the parsonage or presbytery, shall perhaps find some peace now. For many it is unbelievable that the abuse could go on for so many years. And that even after the Dutroux rage still nothing was done again what had happened and still happened in many Catholic presbyteries. they are convinced that the ‘church’ should have been aware of what was happening. Many might have lost their faith in church and religion and can not understand how such an institute which preaches love and peace, and say we all do have to be honest could itself be constructed so much on loads of lies.
Those damaged people can only hope the Catholic Church shall try to soothe this personal, moral damage carried out by men of the church. Lots of men and women (because they also may not be forgotten) shall be looking at the Catholic Church under its new leader to see if it will not take one step backward with regards to how they will deal with this abuse problem. Many people are also curious about the sanctions which shall be taken.
Are we going to see serious sanctions that must be imposed? the pope himself promisses:
On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children.”
In a response, the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP, issued a statement calling on the Pontiff to take decisive action against abusive clergy.
These steps include defrocking all known child abusers; handing enforcement over to secular authorities; punishing officials who failed to report instances of abuse; and ensuring the protection of whistleblowers.
“Actions speak louder than words,”
the statement reads in part.
- A bad name church going to take action: Catholic church asking for forgiveness and promising to take action against child-abusers
- Television view (Washington Post): Pope asks for forgiveness for ‘evil’ of priest child abuse
- Reuters video: Pope asks for forgiveness for evil of priests
- Pope Francis asks forgiveness for child abuse by clergy
- Pope: Child abuse criticism unfair
- UN panel confronts Vatican on child sex abuse by clergy
- Deceptive evil Jesuit anti-Pope Francis I asks for Forgiveness for paedophilia by clergy (theunhivedmind.com)
Last month, Pope Francis strongly defended the Roman Catholic Church’s record on tackling sexual abuse by priests, following UN criticism.
The Pope set up a committee last year to organise help for victims of clerical sexual abuse but has been accused by some Catholics of dragging his feet in acknowledging the extent of the moral and mental damage caused by paedophile priests, the BBC’s David Willey reports from Rome.
- Pope asks forgiveness for child sex abuses (vanguardngr.com)
“I feel compelled… to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” the pope said at a meeting with members of a children’s charity, Vatican Radio reported.
The apology was a first for Francis since he was elected last year and he was quoted as saying there were “quite a few” guilty priests, although “obviously not compared to the number of all the priests”.
- Pope Francis Apologizes For Sexual Abuse: Asks For ‘Forgiveness’ For Damage Done By Priests (medicaldaily.com)
Perhaps most importantly, though, Francis has taken responsibility for the priests who have sexually abused thousands of children over the course of decades — at least partially. Barbara Dorris of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) isn’t impressed by his speech. “But that is all it is: talk,” she said. “We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words. Until [Francis] takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”
- Pope Francis Asks Forgiveness For Catholic Clergy Child Abuse (thewire.com)
Pope Francis gave some unusually direct comments on the Catholic Church’s decades-long clergy abuse epidemic on Friday. Francis “personally ask[ed] for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children” in a short speech on Friday to a Catholic children’s NGO. The remarks, according to the Vatican Radio write-up, were at least partially off script.
Although he has taken some steps to address the scandal, and the calls for church reform that it created, Francis has faced criticism from victim advocates for failing to fully address the child abuse epidemic in his first year as pope. Today’s remarks could be, in part, an attempt to convince advocates that he takes the spiritual aspect of the abuse scandal seriously.
- Pope begs forgiveness for ‘evil’ of clerical molesters (triblive.com)
Children were molested by priests over decades as bishops moved them from parish to parish rather than reporting them to police. Pope John Paul II denounced the abusers, saying there was no place for them in the priesthood. Pope Benedict XVI expressed sorrow and regret to victims, met with them and even wept with them.
The main American victim’s group, SNAP, said it was waiting for more.
“We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words,” said SNAP’s outreach director Barbara Dorris in a statement. “Until the pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”
- Pope Assumes Responsibility For Priest Sex Abuse (mintpressnews.com)
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.
Francis delivered the comments to members of the International Catholic Child Bureau, a French Catholic network of organizations that protects children’s rights. Sitting with them in his library Friday, Francis spoke slowly, deliberately and softly in his native Spanish, deviating from his text.
“I feel compelled to take personal responsibility for all the evil that some priests, many — many in number, (although) not in comparison with the totality — to assume personal responsibility and to ask forgiveness for the damage caused by the sexual abuse of the children,” he said.
- Pope Francis pledges to tighten action to stop all forms of child exploitation (womennewsnetwork.net)
“We beg the world’s Catholics: be impressed by deeds, not words. Until the Pope takes decisive action that protects kids be skeptical and vigilant,” says SNAP Outreach Director Barbara Dorris.
“This may be the first time a Pope has talked of sanctions against complicit bishops. But that is all it is: talk. (and if this ever happens, many, many tangible steps to safeguard children in the church must be taken),” Dorris continued.
In February 2014 a United States Catholic Archdiocese in Los Angeles, California closed what has been described as a decade of priest molestations lawsuit cases under what advocates called “wrenching” courtroom litigation. The combined court cases cost the Catholic Church more than $740 million.
- Pope asks forgiveness for pedophile clergy (news.smh.com.au)
- Pope asks forgiveness for clergy abuse (skynews.com.au)
- Pope asks forgiveness for child sex abuses (ndtv.com)