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Seattle Times letters to the editor

January 22, 2014 at 7:02 AM

Catholic child abuse: A personal plea to Pope Francis

I am longing for the moment when Pope Francis will name the greatest scandal in church history for what it is and not skirt the issue. Francis has yet to utter the words, “The priest abuse of children.” ["Vatican comes under sharp criticism for sex abuse," Nation & World, Jan. 16]

Rather, he avoids the words and calls these crimes and sins “those failings of priests.” That does a great disservice to victim and survivors, like myself. Francis must name these priests’ sins and apologize on behalf of the Roman Catholic Church.

Francis asked, “Are we all ashamed?” Yet he doesn’t ever answer. Again, he waters the issue down by adding, “So many scandals that I do not want to mention individually, but all of us know.”

No matter how much the Vatican wants to divorce itself from the abuse of children, the buck stops with Pope Francis. He is the one to give the final permission to defrock a priest. He is also the one to defrock Bishops who have sheltered priest pedophiles and passed them on year after year.

Of course it is the civil authorities’ responsibility to mete out punishments for sexual crimes to children. The Pope has the ultimate responsibility to mandate bishops to defrock priest pedophiles, release records and to speak boldly about the ongoing problem of the abuse of children in the Catholic Church. To date he has failed his moral responsibility to do so.

Mary Dispenza, Bellevue

0 Comments | More in Catholic Church | Topics: Catholic Church, Child abuse, Pope Francis

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