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...

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  • Lani Halter
    commented 2013-04-06 02:49:31 -0500
    Dear Mr. Clohessy and other Snap leaders,

    I think your comments included in the recent USA Today/Washington Post article by Cathy Lynn Grossman bear repeating:

    “Clohessy said the pope could have taken much sharper action, including calling on all bishops to give all of their files on known abusers to law enforcement and ‘sit down with secular lawmakers and work for better child safety laws.’ ”

    I also think that Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director comments should be posted again, here:

    “Pope Francis needs to take actions now, words mean nothing. Just to name a few…

    —Demote and remove Cardinal Law from his plush job in the Vatican.

    —Demote and remove Bishop Finn, who is a convicted criminal still running KC-St Joe diocese

    —Demote and remove Cardinal Mahony, for his horrific cover up of sex crimes, per thousands of recently released LA archdiocese secret documents.

    Children are safest when child predators and those who enable and conceal their crimes are held responsible.”

    Again I will suggest to you Mr. Clohessy that you (again) request to meet with the new Pope. I would also like to humbly suggest that you write a letter to him that does include all of the actions that you and other members of SNAP would like to see the pope and catholic church, take.

    And, again thank you for all of your continuing hard work on this difficult, truly burdensome issue. I believe the time has come for you and all the members of SNAP and other survivors groups, to prevail. Please take heart, have courage and remember the words of Christ in the gospels Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:41 and Luke 17:2. And please Mr. Clohessy, do not be afraid to point out these specific chapters and verses to the new Pope, as it is in fact he OF ALL PEOPLE LIVING TODAY, who needs to be REMINDED OF THESE SPECIFIC WORDS of Christ.

    Kind regards, and continued belief in your cause and cases!
    Lani Halter

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