More Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal’s continue to be revealed….
Pope Francis issued a letter to Catholics around the world Monday condemning the crime of priestly sexual abuse and its cover-up. He demanded accountability but offered no indication of how he plans to sanction complicit bishops or end the Vatican’s long-standing culture of secrecy.
Francis begged forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims and said lay Catholics must be involved in the effort to root out abuse and cover-up. He blasted the clerical culture that has been blamed for the crisis, with church leaders more concerned for their reputation than the safety of children.
“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives,” Francis wrote.
“We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
The Vatican issued the three-page letter ahead of Francis’ trip this weekend to Ireland, a once staunchly Roman Catholic country where the church’s credibility has been devastated by years of revelations that priests raped and molested children with impunity and their superiors covered up for them.
As a result, the letter was clearly an effort by Francis to respond to outrage in the U.S. and pressure from Ireland to take a tough stand on the global abuse scandal. That pressure has mounted steadily after Francis’ own reputation was tarnished during his disastrous trip to Chile in January, where he dismissed victims’ accusations of cover-up as “calumny.”…