Pope to hold first meeting with sex abuse victims

2014-07-07 07:40
Pope Francis. (Jack Guez, Pool)

Pope Francis. (Jack Guez, Pool)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Pope Francis
    Read up on Pope Francis in the biography that paints a peceptive portrait of Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Now R227.00
    buy now
Vatican City - Pope Francis holds his first meeting with victims of sexual abuse by priests on Monday, an encounter that some say should have happened long ago, and victims from his native Argentina say they are pained over their exclusion.

Six victims, two each from Ireland, Britain and Germany, will attend the pope's private morning Mass in his Vatican residence and then meet with him afterwards, according to people who organised the meeting.

Francis has said he would show zero tolerance for anyone in the Catholic Church who abused children, including bishops, and compared sexual abuse of children by priests to a "Satanic Mass".

But he has also come under fire from victims groups for saying in an interview this year that the Roman Catholic Church has done more than any other organisation to root out paedophiles in its ranks.

Why the pope waited nearly 16 months since his election in March 2013 to meet with sexual abuse victims is not clear, particularly as his predecessor, former Pope Benedict, met several times with them during his trips outside Italy.

"I think it’s very important that the pope meet with victims," said Anne Doyle of Bishops Accountability, a US-based documentation centre on abuse in the Catholic Church.

"We know that this pope is capable of compassion and his refusal to meet with sexual abuse victims so far has been inconsistent with the mercy he has shown with so many marginalised. This is something that he had to rectify," she said.

Victims groups have said the pope had a spotty record of dealing with abuse cases in Argentina when he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, and victims from that country sent him a letter asking him why they were not invited.

Pain of exclusion

"This fact pains us," four victims of sexual abuse by priests said in a letter sent to the pope and made available to Reuters.

"You must know the things that happen here and why the victims have been fighting for so many years, as well as the new cases that are surfacing," said the letter, signed by four victims.

Doyle, of Bishops Accountability, said the pope should quickly follow up with "several core actions" to show that the meeting is not merely ceremonial.

"He definitely must explicitly tell his bishops that all Church officials must report crimes and suspected crimes to civil authorities," pointing that in a number of developing countries it is up to the victim to report sexual crimes.

The sexual abuse scandal has haunted the Catholic Church for over two decades but became a major issue in the United States about 10 years ago.

Since then it has also disgraced local churches in Ireland, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and other countries and badly tarnished the Church's image.

The Vatican says 3 420 credible accusations of sexual abuse by priests had been referred to the Vatican in the past 10 years and 824 clerics defrocked. The Church in the United States has paid $2.5bn in compensation to victims.

The commission advising the pope on the sexual abuse crisis, which includes Boston's Cardinal Sean O'Malley, met on Sunday and is expected to announce on Monday that it will expand it ranks to include more members from the developing world.
Read more on:    pope francis  |  vatican city  |  religion
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
35 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.