Pope's record 'dismal': Sex abuse victims

2013-02-12 10:04
Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), holds a banner featuring portraits of victims, including one of herself. (John MacDougall, AFP)

Barbara Blaine, president of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), holds a banner featuring portraits of victims, including one of herself. (John MacDougall, AFP)

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

Washington - Pope Benedict XVI did nothing to punish paedophile priests or Church seniors who looked the other way, according to US and Irish victims hoping his successor will focus on fighting sex abuse.

Barbara Blaine, founder and president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, called the outgoing pope's record "dismal."

"He has made lofty statements. He has not matched those statements with deed or action. Under his reign, the children remained at risk," Blaine said.

In recent years, the United States and Ireland have been among several countries rocked by successive sex scandals involving members of the Catholic clergy and Church higher-ups accused of covering up abuses.

This month, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Gomez was forced under court order to release files on presumed cases of paedophilia involving some 100 clergymen.

Last year, Monsignor William Lynn of Philadelphia was sentenced to three to six years in prison for having hidden cases of sexual abuse and allowing at least two predatory priests to remain in posts in which they had contact with minors.

Global problem

The US Conference of Catholic Bishops says that since 1950, more than 6 100 priests have been accused of paedophilia. Some 16 000 victims have been identified, and $2.5bn have been spent on damages or rehabilitation therapy.

"This is not a US problem, this is a global problem," Blaine said, stressing that the solution is "at the footsteps of Pope Benedict."

"Even now in these next two weeks, he could take simple measures that would have wide-ranging positive impact to protect children and our Church across the globe."

The pope, who plans to resign on February 28, could publish the names of predatory priests on the Internet, as 30 American bishops have, or order bishops to report all cases of sexual abuse to the police, Blaine said.

"I'm very happy that the pope is resigning because he really did not do very much about clergy sexual abuse," said Robert Hoatson, president of victims aid group Road To Recovery.

"The next pope has to tackle this issue. This is the most important issue because it concerns children, and it is a worldwide problem and the pope has to commission a group of expert to determine what has to be done to solve this problem.

Nothing delivered

"And if it means firing all the bishops that have covered up, so be it."

He worried that the Church will "keep everything covered up" unless it is ordered to reveal information about abuses.

In Ireland, the victims group Survivors of Child Abuse also welcomed word that the pope is stepping down.

"This pope had a great opportunity to finally address the decades of abuse in the Church but at the end of the day, he did nothing but promise everything and in the end, he ultimately delivered nothing," said spokesperson John Kelly.

"The Church needs to acknowledge that all of this happened. They need to acknowledge that they allowed the devil inside and had him reside there for 50 years.

"The Church cannot move on," he added. "This pope's tenure has been plagued by scandals and that will continue unless the pope addresses the root causes and that can only start from the top."

- SAPA
Read more on:    pope benedict xvi  |  us  |  child abuse  |  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
11 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Business Development Specialist

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Hi-Tech Recruitment - Cape Town
R17 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Derivatives Lawyer

Claremont
DAV Professional Placement Group

Accountant (Maternity Leave)

Cape Town Northern Suburbs
Communicate Cape Town Finance

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

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer 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

• Cultivate your intuitive powers – intuition and insight are emphasized today. The focus is still on organisation and...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.