Pope Francis has criticized US Catholic bishops for their approach to the sexual abuse crisis, saying the scandal has destroyed the Catholic Church’s credibility.
In a long and highly unusual letter sent to US bishops on Thursday as they embarked on a week-long retreat near Chicago, Francis said the handling of the scandal showed the urgent need for a new management method and mindset within the Roman Catholic Church.
“God’s faithful people and the Church’s mission continue to suffer greatly as a result of abuses of power and conscience and sexual abuse, and the poor way that they were handled,” the pope wrote.
“The Church’s credibility has been seriously undercut and diminished by these sins and crimes, but even more by the efforts made to deny or conceal them,” Francis said.
“The hurt caused by these sins and crimes has also deeply affected the communion of bishops, and generated not the sort of healthy and necessary…