Argentina Bishops Delayed Abuse Plan

As the new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics, Pope Francis pledged Friday to forge ahead with measures aimed at stemming sexual abuse in church ranks. But as the church's most powerful official in Argentina, he didn't comply with a Vatican call to create guidelines for handling sexual-abuse allegations in the country.

The delay, which hasn't been previously reported, opens new questions about the new pope's record of addressing the issue of sexual abuse by priests, even as the Vatican vowed anew to address the issue.

On Friday, Pope Francis met with Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, who heads the office in charge of leading the Vatican's global crackdown on abusive priests and instructed him to continue the Vatican's strategy for fighting sex abuse. The pope urged him to "act decisively with regard to cases of sexual abuse, pushing above all the measures to protect minors," the Vatican said. Swift detection, Vatican officials have said, is crucial to stopping abusive priests.

The Vatican highlighted the importance of pressing national conferences of bishops to draw up comprehensive policies for detecting abuse and helping victims. "The commitment of bishops conferences in formulating and implementing the necessary guidelines is so important for the witness and credibility of the church," the Vatican said following the meeting Friday.

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  • Lani Halter
    commented 2013-04-10 12:15:56 -0500
    April 10, 2013

    Dear SNAP,

    Quick question. Is there an easy way to now, name and include the new pope in the filing before the ICC? And, if there is a way, is anyone attempting that, now?

    Lani Halter
  • Lani Halter
    commented 2013-04-08 13:46:46 -0500
    April 8, 2013

    re: the above article entitled: “Argentina Bishops Delayed Abuse Plan”

    Dear Members of SNAP and others concerned,

    Oh…I’m truly saddened by the fact that the more I read about this new pope, the less I “like” or “have respect” for him. I’ve been trying to be open-minded, non-judgmental, and to withhold criticism until he demonstrated “his true colors” with regards to the whole clergy and laity pedophilia issue rampant in the Catholic Church.

    However, this article shows that the new Pope Francis has a long history of holding little regard for the victims, let alone of having a plan on how to cope and deal with pedophiles being priests and prelates in the Catholic Church.

    I wish the answers were simple. I believe the answers are there, just that it is a more painstaking and arduous task than most humans of conscience would like or want to be faced and forced to deal with. It is, after all, a criminal issue we are talking about. The abuse of the children of the Catholic Church, is in fact crimes against humanity. It would be different if we were talking about one or two incidents having happened several years ago. But we’re not. The scope and number of victims of these priests and laity, is nearly mind-boggling!

    Towards the end of the article, some “excuses” were put forth by an unidentified spokesperson at the Holy See saying that in some countries the bishops would be “persecuted” (seemingly meaning, if accusations against the offending priest were reported to the police.) China was mentioned as just such a country. I would have two or three responses to that excuse proffered as a “legitimate” reason for not reporting accusations of sexual abuse to secular, civil authorities.

    First, if in fact the Catholic Church were and had already been implementing a “zero tolerance” for pedophiles in the clergy, perhaps there would no longer be any priest pedophiles working and living in China who would need to be reported.

    Second, if hearing accusations and reporting the accusations to the proper public authorities immediately, were in fact the actual norm and policy of all church officials, worldwide, then I believe that were any lingering pedophile priests actually in or contemplating assignment to such countries as China, perhaps they should also be apprised before accepting assignment there, that if they were indeed “practicing pedophiles” it would become apparent and the church would not be able to offer the kind of judicial system found in the United States and thus would not “protect” the offender from “undue persecution” in countries such as China. (I think this would be a good time to remind potential priests that the Catholic Church actually does subscribe to the words of Christ as found in the gospels and they should all be advised to read and/or re-read: Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:41 and Luke 17:2.) Perhaps, disclosure of those two facts to anyone contemplating continuing to be pedophile predators while in the employ or otherwise under the auspices of the Catholic Church, might reconsider (on their own), remaining in the clergy.

    And thirdly, in my humble opinion it is much more important for the whole Catholic Church (i.e. and most importantly including the Pope, the Vatican and Holy See) to care about and offer to END the extreme, inhumane acts of cruelty and suffering that victims experience(ed), than it is for the Church to care more about the individual, adult pedophile Catholic priest. A Catholic priest (and all pedophile Catholic priests and laity) who has (and have), hundreds if not, thousands of victims over the course of a lifetime of one pedophile while being enabled by the Catholic Church to commit these crimes throughout the world.

    I still want very much, to encourage all the members of SNAP, the CCR and the attorneys and judges of ICC to pursue all avenues of legal prosecution, (now) of both the current Pope Francis and previous Pope Benedict and the Vatican (Catholic Church), in this matter.

    The whole section on scandal in the church, written of the first three gospels in the Bible certainly applies to the Church today, as it did in Christ’s lifetime. The most pertinent, critical sections being those I will quote here again: Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:41 and Luke 17:2.

    Kind regards,
    Lani Halter
    Mother and Grandmother

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