Long term readers of Whaleoil will know that I have no love for the Roman Catholic Church. Their despicable history of child abuse and the subsequent organised cover up of this abuse has been a global phenomenon.
Pope after Pope has made some high level PR speeches, but in the end the matter was always swept under the rug, with offenders moved, to other countries if needed, instead of handed over to the local Police.
By selecting the current Pope, the Vatican may have picked the first honest Pope in history. But does he have the courage and administrative support to made a difference?
Pope Francis made his first public plea for forgiveness on Friday (local time) for the “evil” committed by priests who molested children, using some of his strongest words yet on the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis.
The Argentine-born pontiff said the Church, which last month named a high-level group on the scandal including an abuse victim, had to take an stronger stand on a scandal that has haunted it for more than two decades, and indicated there would be repercussions for perpetrators.
“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.
“The church is aware of this … 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 to the sanctions that must be imposed.
“On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children,” Francis said in unscripted comments as he addressed the children’s rights body.
Indications are that this Pope may actually do more than talk. It will be interesting to see the actual outcome of this apparent shift in policy. Unless priests are handed over to the local authorities and the Church assists by providing access to all information and other staff for interviews and court appearances, a great opportunity to lance this boil will be wasted. Read more »