Pope Francis apologizes for priest sex abuse scandal with ‘sorrow and shame’

The Pope said church leaders must be held accountable. Photo: Franco Origlia/Getty Images

In an unprecedented letter on Monday this week, Pope Francis has begged for forgiveness following a grand jury report last week that found that more than 1,000 children were sexually abused by “predator priests” in Pennsylvania for decades.

He said Catholic leaders were to be blamed, stating that “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”

“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community, that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives,” the Pope wrote in a 2,000-word letter addressed to the “People of God.”

The damaging grand jury report detailed allegations of rampant sexual abuse in parishes across Pennsylvania in the United States.

Abuse complaints were kept in the church’s so-called secret archive and church officials hid incidents, neglected to discipline priests or report them to law enforcement, according to the 1,356-page report.

“Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing; they hid it all,” the report said.

In his letter on Monday, Pope Francis said Catholic leaders who have failed to protect children, must still be held accountable.

“It is essential that we, as a Church, be able to acknowledge and condemn, with sorrow and shame, the atrocities perpetrated by consecrated persons, clerics and all those entrusted with the mission of watching over and caring for those most vulnerable,” he wrote. “Let us beg forgiveness for our own sins and the sins of others.”

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL LETTER BY POPE FRANCIS

 

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12 Comments

  1. Karam
    August 24, 2018

    So what! I am a catholic and i will continue to go to retreat, continue to go to Church.

  2. Samuel
    August 23, 2018

    This is not accurate. The abuse in Pennsylvania was not to children but you youths a d seminarians. Dominica news online get your facts right!
    It is still nevertheless abominable. But Jesus chose Judas so there are bound to be bad priests.

  3. Sherlock holmes
    August 22, 2018

    Evil has a plan…
    the abusers are Pedophiles posing as priests to destroy children and church.
    They know the catholic church is a sure place to carry out their sick desire…
    What the church should have done however is to bring justice to the victims instead of covering up pedophile priests deeds.
    Look now the name of the church in talk…hmm.

    P.s. marriage does not stop Pedophiles. …

  4. anonymous2
    August 22, 2018

    The church is a sham and a front.

  5. JBaptiste
    August 22, 2018

    An infallible man asking for forgiveness. Behold the irony. If the devil were an artist then this church would have been his masterpiece.

  6. August 22, 2018

    If I were catholic I would be so embarrassed and ashamed. For decades this immoral, sinful and criminal activities have plagued the catholic church and they seemed to ignore and turned a blind eye. It is time that the catholic church be held accountable for their actions against humanity, taking advantaged of the most vulnerable in society, whom they are suppose to protect. What is the Catholic Church doing to mitigate against these actions of their priests? What are the recommendations they have published? which could include that a priest should not be in the presence of a child or children alone without supervision. Where are the parents? W

    It is time for these committing these acts to be punished to extent of the law and stop hiding behind their religious clothing and false claim of Christianity and love for Christ and spreading his words. People should dis- associate themselves with a religion that is doing nothing to protect children but yet hide the ones who violate…

    • Plato
      August 23, 2018

      I never like responding directly to those who express themselves in such mediums, but I forced to do so after reading your comments and seeing the number of folks who concur with your view. Your comment demonstrated two troubling things about you: your lack of knowledge on the matter at hand and your deep level of intolerance for bodies of which you are not part.
      First of all, it is incredibly silly to accuse the church of crimes as a result of the actions of some disgusting priest. It is similar to the racist comment that all blacks are criminals or people from Guadeloupe referring to Dominicans as thieves because of the actions of less than a 100 folks in that land. As an adherent to the Roman Catholic faith I would not lump all protestants into one heap because of the indescretion of a few pastors. See what happened in at Vincent last weekend. Shoul we now say all Baptists are immoral and Baptists sexually abuse young men. No. These are not how wise and intelligent people speak.

      • Time
        August 23, 2018

        Is it still silly to accuse the Catholic church of covering up these crimes for decades? Cmon now. This church leaders are as guilty as those sick and twisted pedophiles that call themselves priests. And I’m sure there’s more skeletons in the closet.

      • Badbaje
        August 24, 2018

        Thanks for your response Plato. Now that you have spoken as to the kind of person you think “concern citizen” may be, would you care to respond to his questions regarding the conduct of the priests.
        “What is the Catholic Church doing to mitigate against these actions of their priests? What are the recommendations they have published? which could include that a priest should not be in the presence of a child or children alone without supervision. Where are the parents? W

        It is time for these committing these acts to be punished to extent of the law and stop hiding behind their religious clothing and false claim of Christianity and love for Christ and spreading his words. People should dis- associate themselves with a religion that is doing nothing to protect children but yet hide the ones who violate…” I await your response, knowing you do not usually respond to those who choose mediums such as this to share their opinions.

  7. LifeandDeath
    August 22, 2018

    Well take some time to think about it.

    Take 100 priests, give each 10 boys (1000) and prohibit them from Marrying..Disregard all the science surrounding basic needs (See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs) and then sit back and watch what happens.

    • Badbaje
      August 23, 2018

      Life and death you see to be a defender of those priests and bishops of the catholic who are doing wrong. You seem to be blaming the conditions they are living in.
      No one begged them to become priests and bishops, no on held guns to their heads etc, they made the decisions themselves, so no one should blame the fact they are not allowed to married and live other wise normal sexual lives, they did that themselves.
      Not being able to marry or have a woman is the last excuse I would expect any of their defenders to make.

      • LifeandDeath
        August 23, 2018

        I can’t defend corruption my friend. I am saying that the system of Priesthood must be revised. Man have Basic needs and it’s proven that Sex is one of them..the church has downplayed and avoided the issue of sex to the detriment of those young children and the wider society, including the Church.

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