Pope Francis Begs for Forgiveness from Sex Abuse Victims

07.07.2014: wfmynews2.com

The encounter with victims from Britain, Ireland and Germany was low key. They met the pope briefly Sunday night, and then joined him for a private Mass on Monday morning, according to Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi. After that, he met with each in his private apartment for about 30 minutes of informal discussions about their individual experiences.

The Vatican did not release the names of the victims, and none attended Lombardi’s briefing to the media. However, the Vatican said Francis expressed „sorrow“ for the „sins and grave crimes“ of the clerical abuse against them.

„I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately“ to reports of sex abuse, the pope said.

Francis‘ predecessor, Benedict XVI, met with victims several times while traveling, starting in 2008. However, the latest meetings marked the first time sex abuse victims have met with a pontiff on the Vatican grounds.

It comes on the heels of the United Nation’s condemnation in May of the Vatican for its policies on sexual abuse and a Vatican declaration of „zero tolerance“ for clergy guilty of inappropriate behavior toward children while the pope was in the Middle East that month.

Before that, the Vatican crafted procedures to hold bishops and other church authorities accountable if they fail to report suspected abuse or protect children from pedophile priests.

„The rules and laws are already in place,“ said Andrea Tornielli, coordinator of the publication Vatican Insider. „But the change of mentality the church needs takes more time. That is why a gesture like this (the meetings) is so important because it will contribute to changing that mentality.“

In the nearly 16 months since becoming pope, Francis has become one of the most recognized figures in the world in part because of remarks on controversial topics such as homosexual Catholics and the role of capitalism in the world, and he has taken on the Vatican’s powerful bureaucracy in an attempt to root out corruption.

But he also has earned criticism for doing too little to confront the problem of sex abuse. The pope did create a special Child Protection Commission of cardinals, and in April he asked for forgiveness for the perpetrators of sexual abuse. But critics have said it is far too little, given the enormity of the problem.

„With sexual violence and cover-ups, Catholic officials are obsessively fixed on policies and protocols,“ the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said in a recent statement. „But they absolutely ignore the one step that matters: action.“

Norbert Denef, a German church abuse reform advocate, called Monday’s meetings „nothing more than a public relations effort.“
Weiter lesen…

Artikel kommentieren

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.

Diese Website verwendet Akismet, um Spam zu reduzieren. Erfahre mehr darüber, wie deine Kommentardaten verarbeitet werden.

Artikel aus den Medien

ARD BRISANT ARD Tagesschau Augsburger Allgemeine Badische Zeitung Berliner Morgenpost Berliner Zeitung DER SPIEGEL derStandard.at DER TAGESSPIEGEL derwesten.de DEUTSCHE WELLE Deutschlandfunk Deutschlandradio DiePresse.com diesseits.de DIE WELT DIE ZEIT FOCUS Frankfurter Allgemeine Frankfurter Rundschau Hamburger Abendblatt Hannoversche Allgemeine Humanistischer Pressedienst Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger Leipziger Volkszeitung Lübecker Nachrichten Mitteldeutsche Zeitung n-tv N24 NDR.de NDR Info Neue Zürcher Zeitung nordwestradio Publik-Forum Saarbrücker Zeitung SPIEGEL ONLINE stern.de SÜDWEST PRESSE Süddeutsche Zeitung taz TP Presseagentur Berlin WAZ WELT ONLINE ZDF heute ZEIT ONLINE