POPE QUIETLY TRIMS SANCTIONS FOR SEX ABUSERS SEEKING MERCY, VICTIMS RESPOND
For immediate release Sunday, February 26, 2017
Once again, church officials have put the needs and feelings of predators over public safety and the needs of children who are the victims of sex crimes.
Pope Francis must remember that there is a difference between crime and sin. Child sex abuse is a crime for which the offender must be held accountable. While Francis may feel sorry for a predator, the only person with the right to forgive an abuser is the victim. And even then, the offender must be held accountable for his actions so that he may not go on to hurt others.
The Pope has created window dressing tribunals and commissions, but as far as we know he has yet to take actions that will actually protect children. This latest move is just another indication that it’s just “business as usual” inside the Vatican. We fear that children will continue to needlessly be placed at risk.
The place for mercy is with victims and children, not offending clergy.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)