Pope Francis: Church must act decisively on sex abuse
Pope Francis has called for strong, specific worldwide measures for the Roman Catholic Church to act “with determination” against the clergy sex abuse scandal that has rocked the church for more than a decade.
It is one of the first actions on a major issue in Francis’ weeks-old papacy, one that has been marked chiefly by attention to his humble, low-key style.
After he met Friday (April 5) with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the Vatican said in a statement: “The Holy Father recommended that the congregation continue the line sought by Benedict XVI, to act with determination in regard to cases of sexual abuse.”
Francis cited measures to protect minors, help victims of sexual violence and necessary action against perpetrators, and emphasize that drafting and implementing directives by bishops’ conferences around the world is important to the credibility of the church.
Francis concluded by saying, “Victims of abuse are present in a particular way in his prayers for those who are suffering,” according to the Vatican press office.
U.S. victims of clergy abuse have demanded swift and bold actions from the new pontiff. In Argentina, where the former Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio was archbishop of Buenos Aires, he won praise for his simple lifestyle and focus on the poor but was criticized for failing to meet with abuse victims.
Friday’s actions also contain ano...