Indian Catholic News

Letter from Rome

Church responded too late, Pope Francis told members of the Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors.

 
By Robert Mickens
Vatican city: 

In candid remarks this week Pope Francis admitted, with a sense of shame, that the church has been too slow in dealing with the horrible crimes of priests who sexually abuse the young and vulnerable.

"The church responded too late," the pope told members of the Pontifical Commission for Protection of Minors.

"It’s a fact: we responded too late. Maybe (because) the old practice of transferring people deadened our conscience a bit," he said on Thursday in an unscripted address to 17 people who are currently part of the commission that advises him on abuse prevention.

It’s good that he said it. But this "fact" is hardly a revelation. Everyone in the world — except those Catholic clerics and laypeople who are still overly defensive — know the institutional Church dragged its heels in confronting the problem.

But Pope Francis did not stop there. He went even further and took personal blame for his own irresponsibility, at least regarding one case of sexual abuse.

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