Pope Francis asks forgiveness for priests who sexually abused children (CNN)

Pope Francis made his strongest condemnation yet of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Friday, asking for forgiveness and pledging to impose penalties on "men of the church" who harm children.

"I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests -- quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests -- to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children," the Pope said in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio.

"The church is aware of this damage, it is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed," Francis continued.

"On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children."

The U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it may be the first time a pope has spoken of sanctioning "complicit bishops."

"But that is all it is: talk," said Barbara Dorris, SNAP's outreach director.

"We beg the world's Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words. Until the Pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant."

Read the rest here.


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So ... the pope is asking for forgiveness for his church's sins.  As a non-catholic who has in no direct way been touched by this long-standing scandal, my answer is simplicity and brevity itself: NO.  There should be no forgiveness for these monsters, and the badly overdue correction, both for those who abused and those who hid and protected the abusers, should NOT be in the hands of the Vatican, but that of the local law enforcement authorities in those jurisdictions where the offenses occurred.  In the United States, where crimes and perpetrators crossed state lines, Federal courts should be pressed into service to deal with those offenders.

These offenses aren't just the most recent, they are among the church's most heinous, and they demand proper adjudication, and NOT to be swept under the rug by a fox guarding the chicken coop.

Tags: Pope Francis, child abuse, forgiveness

Views: 278

Replies to This Discussion

Joan, wanna know something?  I Don't Forgive SHIT!

Anyone, and I mean ANYONE who wants to transgress against me will find out how fast I will either kick their sorry asses or have them in a courtroom, either civil or criminal, with serious charges aimed at their sorry ass.

Actions have consequences. Either get used to that or get used to very sore testes!

Right! Oh that feels good to hear! 

The church and it's reps, the whole thing as a matter of fact, has such a twisted sense of morality that is hard to understand from the outside why it continues. It's historical civilization abuse passed on to generation to generation. It's an evil addiction but they are blind to it.

Warren, I think they're operating this way more because of tradition than anything else.  They used to rule the roost, to be the primary authority.  Now that authority is far less theirs, but they still get a whole lot of deference and mostly because of the whole "faith" and "god" thing.  If we could get enough people to recognize the foolishness of what they're selling, it might be that we could get police and other civil personnel to quit treating them as though they were "sacred" (whatever the hell that means!) and start treating them as they would any other perp.

I'd give real money to see that.  I just wonder if I ever will.

Again, that is why we need to get the fine writing of this group out into the general public. Some will dismiss the message, some will ridicule, and rebuke. So what! There is a risk and cost of being silent; there is a different risk and cost for speaking up. Choose the risk.  

He can't ask forgiveness, like he can't make sure the priests won't do it again.

a crime is a crime and should be handled by civil authorities ONLY. NOT the institution that it happened in. this goes for military, religious, political and educational institutions as well! until he comes out and says that all the perpetrators will be handed over to civil authorities at once,and as the crimes are exposed then he is still doing nothing but paying lip service to the issue, hoping that it may just "go away".

This is precisely my point, Matt.  The RC church thinks they can operate as a law unto themselves, with no external check or balance, and for the large portion, they've been allowed to.  This has to change, and that change would start with a full criminal investigation of every child abuse incident for which we can gather witnesses, victims and any available evidence (not an easy task, I'll grant you).  If that necessitates search warrants involving church property, so be it.  There is no reason why ANY church should be exempt from such a warrant, and no, I don't care about hurt feelings about priests or parishioners.  Church grounds and offices may be sacrosanct to them; they should not be to the police.  Any prosecutions which result from these investigations should be held to the letter of the law with no punches pulled and damned few if any deals struck.  Those found guilty should Go To Jail.  I'll leave the issue of general population vs. isolation for those convicted to others.

The next major step would be class-action lawsuits, organized by state if necessary, on behalf of abuse victims and their families, naming involved priests, dioceses and the RC church itself as defendants.  Here I'm obviously aiming at the wealth of the church; I want to hit them where they live, make them understand that they've done wrong in terms basic enough to wake them up to the fact that they are OF this world as much as IN it, and as such subject to the consequences of their actions, as anyone else would be.

I doubt these actions would ruin the church, much as I would like to see it ruined.  It WOULD render a long-overdue wake-up call to it and to those who think that any church can stand apart from society.

Maybe now those Peoples in the church who are in denial will wake up.

Will He admit that the Church did atrocities against the Indigenous Peoples of North America and the World ?

I wouldn't bet on it, Richard.  In the Intelligence Squared debate of 2009, Christopher Hitchens recited a litany of sins the RC church has committed over the centuries, including this one, and there has been no massive outcry from the laity about it.  Those things happened long ago or in another country or not to ME, they will think, because to do otherwise would necessitate shaking themselves out of a torpor in which they have become entirely too comfortable. 

Ultimately, it's more dust under the same rug, and it takes someone tripping over the lumps before any kind of meaningful action will be taken ... and I'm STILL not holding my breath about that.

I went into genealogy hoping to find noble thinkers, brave people who stood on principle, and those who stood up to oppression, domination and exploitation.

I found bank robbers, horse thieves, and people who cut other people's noses off because they were Quakers. They pressed charges, sat on the jury, found a whole lot of people guilty of witchcraft. They stood and watched as witches were hung and crushed to death in Salem. Others owned slaves and a man the family proudly remembered as some giant of intellect and power who turned out to have made a great fortune going to Africa and bringing back ships loaded with human beings that he sold from the Caribbean to Plymouth, Mass. 

The only noble, intelligent, brave, and principled person I found was a great-grandmother on my mother's father's side. She was a Cherokee who walked the Trail of Tears as a four year old. She met and married a descendent of the Irish famine immigrants. Those Irish were an angry lot, enraged because of the politically caused famine in Ireland in the 1840s. They came to U.S., settled in the south, fought for the Confederacy in the 1860s, lost the war, their homes, their property, including human slaves, and had nothing. They became bank robbers and horse thieves. My great-grandmother wanted to get her large family out of that environment and insisted they move out of the south. They ended up in a little town that was "paved with gold" in Tekoa, Whitman County, eastern Washington state. It turned out the gold was wheat! 

The point of this long story is the realization that my history is full of cruelty, violence, exploitation, manipulation, domination and submission and other maladaptive thinking and behaving. They were all religious people. I was too. I justified my cruel, obscene, disgusting thinking and action by the old bromides that come out of the scriptures and culture of obedience to god and serving him. I looked for guidance in my ancestral values and scripture. Stupid! Sadistic! Indecent! Repugnant! 

The guilt and shame I felt was sometimes overwhelming. The name Denoo meant everything I hated. One night, sitting in my back yard, some 39 years ago, I looked up into the night sky and determined that this little patch of Earth is dedicated to being a place where cabbages, cats and kids could grow and develop into their full potential. I knew how to grow cabbages and cats. I didn't know how to grow kids. My past interfered with doing what I needed to do. I wanted to raise healthy and productive children into mentally healthy, mature, adults. 

The victims of religion are the dominators and the submissive ones. They each, in their different ways, fall prey to lies, delusions, and denial. 

Still sounds like empty promises to me and the perpetrators will never be prosecuted for their crimes. I think it's high time their fantasy world is torn down to reality.  

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