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Pope defensive on sex abuse as commission lags

Published: Wed, March 5, 2014 @ 4:35 p.m.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis is coming under increasing criticism that he simply doesn't get it on sex abuse.

Three months after the Vatican announced a commission of experts to study best practices on protecting children, no action has been taken, no members appointed, no statute outlining the commission's scope approved.

Francis hasn't met with any victims, hasn't moved to oust a bishop convicted in 2012 of failing to report a suspected abuser, and on today insisted that the church had been unfairly attacked on abuse, using the defensive rhetoric of the Vatican from a decade ago.

Victims' advocates cried foul, saying his tone was archaic and urging Francis to show the same compassion he offers the sick, the poor and disabled to people who were raped by priests when they were children.

"Under Pope Francis the Vatican continues to deny its role in creating and maintaining a culture where upholding the reputation of the church is prioritized over the safety of children," said Maeve Lewis, executive director of the Irish abuse support group One in Four.

To be sure, Francis adores children like a father — it's on display every Wednesday during his general audience — and he has continued to defrock pedophile priests. But unlike Pope Benedict XVI, he has rarely spoken out about abuse, indicating it clearly has not been a priority in his first year as pope. Instead, he has focused on introducing the world to his merciful vision of the church and reforming the Vatican bureaucracy.


1YtownParent(994 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Appoint Benedict to head the commission.

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2JudyJones(162 comments)posted 2 years, 3 months ago

Now we know where Pope Francis stands on the issue of the sex abuse of children within the Catholic institution. He states: "The Catholic church is maybe the only public institution to have moved with transparency and responsibility," ---

His defensive words are very hurtful to so many thousands of victims who were hoping that, just maybe, Pope Francis might be different. That maybe he really does care about protecting innocent children.
Sadly the pope is badly misinformed about the church officials being responsible and transparent. Or he is just following the same old archaic rhetoric that the previous popes have done. Child sex abuse and cover up by the clergy under his power does not seem to be a big deal to him. Francis words could make a person cry, if we had any hope at all that he might take some decisive actions to get this horrific abuse and cover up stopped.

Tragically the sex abuse and cover up within the church hierarchy throughout the world is still going on to this day. Cardinals and bishops are still not removing accused predator clergy, and they are still not reporting to law enforcement. Their so called "zero tolerance" policy is not being followed by the bishops who created it. They don't have to, because there is no punishment to force the bishops to change their ways of protecting their image and the institution rather than protecting children.

Child predators need to be kept far away from kids forever. So silence is not an option anymore, it only hurts and by speaking up there is a chance for healing, exposing the truth, and therefore protecting others.

Judy Jones, "SNAP" the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests,

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