Pope Francis Writes to Catholics Worldwide Over Sexual Abuse
ROME &mdash Pope Francis issued a uncommon letter to Catholics about the planet on Monday, condemning the &ldquoatrocities&rdquo of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up, demanding higher accountability, and asking his flock to &ldquojoin forces in uprooting this culture of death.&rdquo
The pope said that the church would spare no effort to make sure that such scenarios never ever happened again. But he acknowledged that much harm had already been completed, and that the church had fallen short of its responsibilities, to young children, and to the faithful.
&ldquoWith shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we had been not where we must have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the harm accomplished to so many lives,&rdquo Francis wrote. &ldquoWe showed no care for the little ones we abandoned them.&rdquo
A Vatican spokesperson mentioned it might have been the first time a pope has addressed the planet&rsquos 1.2 billion Catholics about sexual abuse.
Francis&rsquos message came ahead of his scheduled trip next weekend to Ireland, exactly where the abuse concern has dominated headlines ahead of the pay a visit to, and just days following a searing grand jury report in Pennsylvania identified that the church had covered up the abuse of a lot more than 1,000 minors by some 300 priests over a period of 70 years.
The pope acknowledged in his letter that &ldquoefforts to beg pardon&rdquo would never be enough. The deep wounds of the victims &ldquonever go away,&rdquo he mentioned.
More than the previous two decades, the church has typically resisted acknowledging the scale of the crisis, or even certain sexual abuse scandals as they came to light in parishes and dioceses in a number of countries. A prominent member of the pope&rsquos commission on the concern resigned last year, saying that forces within the Vatican had impeded the panel&rsquos work.
Francis, as well, has drawn intense criticism for apparently failing to take some revelations seriously, and in the previous few months he has projected a new determination to investigate and address the problem.
In 2010, Pope Benedict XVI wrote a letter to Ireland&rsquos Catholics when the abuse scandal came to the fore there. And earlier this year, Francis wrote to Catholics in Chile following an abuse scandal forced the ecclesiastical hierarchy there to tender their resignations.
In that letter, Francis denounced clericalism, the practice of focusing a lot more on the clergy than on the faithful. He returned to this believed in the letter issued on Monday.
&ldquoClericalism, no matter whether fostered by priests themselves or by lay persons,&rdquo the pope wrote, &ldquohelps to perpetuate a lot of of the evils that we are condemning nowadays. To say &lsquono&rsquo to abuse is to say an emphatic &lsquono&rsquo to all types of clericalism.&rdquo
The pope stated that it was important that all Catholics &ldquobe able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics, and all these entrusted with the mission of watching more than and caring for those most vulnerable. Let us beg forgiveness for our personal sins and the sins of others.&rdquo
Published at Mon, 20 Aug 2018 13:05:16 +0000