Pope Francis is holding a four day summit with nearly 200 bishops from around the world on the scourge of abuse that has plagued the church in the past, and he’s demanding action from bishops:
USA TODAY – Pope Francis urged high-ranking church officials from around the globe gathered Thursday at the Vatican to “hear the cry of the little ones” who are victims of sexual abuse by priests.
Francis spoke at the beginning of a four-day summit that brought together almost 200 high-ranking church officials, including leaders of bishop conferences from more than 100 nations. The summit will focus on making bishops aware of their responsibilities regarding sexual abuse, as well as accountability and transparency, the Vatican said.
The pope cited the “scourge” of sexual abuse and said it was the responsibility of church leaders to “confront this evil afflicting the Church and humanity.”
Francis offered 21 proposals for the clergy to weigh. Some would require new laws; others would be easier to adopt.
“The holy people of God look to us and expect from us not simple and predictable condemnations but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken,” he said. “We need to be concrete.”
The summit began with an African woman who was not identified recounting how her priest raped her and forced her to have three abortions over a dozen years after he started violating her at age 15.
It ended with Colombian Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez warning the clergy that they could all face prison if they let such crimes go unpunished.
I’m glad to see the Pope pushing for action to be taken to not just apologize for past sins, but to take action to prevent this from happening ever again.
I wasn’t there, so I don’t know exactly what the Pope focused on in his address. But I hope there was a serious condemnation of hmosexuality and its part in this plague because it’s probably the biggest reason this sex abuse occurred in the past decades.
Here’s more on the “searing testimony” heard at the Vatican during the summit.