Pope Francis has acknowledged the widespread sexual abuse committed by Christian priests in the US Catholic Church and warned that such crimes should never be repeated.
In the remarks delivered to Catholic bishops at Saint Matthews Cathedral in Washington on Wednesday, the pope praised their response to the sex abuse scandal while failing to mention the words “sexual abuse.”
A group representing victims of priest sexual abuse blasted the pope’s remarks and said his brief remarks were a setback for justice and healing.
Francis, 78, referred to the crisis indirectly, telling the bishops he was “conscious of the courage with which you have faced difficult moments in the recent history of the Church in this country without fear of self-criticism and at the cost of mortification and great sacrifice.”
“What sacrifice?” said Barbara Blaine of Chicago, the president of Survivor’s Network of Those Abused by Priests.
“His remarks today confirm what we’ve long said and suspected: this pope, like his predecessors, is doing and will do little if anything to bring real reform to this continuing crisis,” Blaine said.