As many of you are aware, Pope Francis met with the heads of all of the local Bishops’ Conferences throughout the world last month to discuss the clergy sex abuse scandal, and the subsequent scandals with how many of these abuses were handled by bishops. Since I know this issue is very much on people’s minds, I thought that a brief update was in order.
In his speech at the conclusion of this meeting (https://www.pbc2019.org/home), Pope Francis acknowledged that the abuse of children is a problem that exists in every part of the world and is much bigger than just the Catholic Church, but he also agreed that this abuse is particularly atrocious when committed by a representative of the Church. He also acknowledged the failure of the Church to prevent abuse and to serve victims of abuse in their quest for healing and justice. He said, “The Church has now become increasingly aware of the need not only to curb the gravest cases of abuse by disciplinary measures and civil and canonical processes, but also to decisively confront the phenomenon both inside and outside the Church. She feels called to combat this evil that strikes at the very heart of her mission, which is to preach the Gospel to the little ones and to protect them from ravenous wolves.”
In order to ensure that none of the participating bishops thought that this scandal does not apply to them, the meeting included testimonies from abuse victims from all over the world. Many groups were disappointed that no concrete actions were taken at this meeting, but instead the bishops were charged with taking action at the local level. The head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal […]