Pope compares child sex abuse to 'human sacrifice'

24 Février, 2019, 22:04 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Pope Francis addressed cardinals and bishops during the Vatican summit for bishops on the sex-abuse crisis

A prominent Nigerian nun read the riot act to Roman Catholic bishops at Vatican summit Saturday (Feb. 23), lambasting the culture of silence that has kept clergy sexual abuse under wraps for generations, CNN reported.

Child sex abuse, he said, reminded him of the ancient religious practice of child sacrifice in pagan rites.

"We need to recognise with humility and courage that we stand face-to-face with the mystery of evil, which strikes most violently against the most vulnerable, for they are an image of Jesus", he said.

The pope called the four-day summit, which began Thursday to address the snowballing clergy abuse scandal, which has its roots in Louisiana.

Using fiery rhetoric, Pope Francis said that even a single case of abuse is an "atrocity" and vowed that the Church will protect children from the "ravenous wolves".

The ongoing scandals have hit countries around the world, with recent cases affecting Australia, Chile, Germany and the United States.

"In an ideal work that would've happened more", Scicluna said.

Swiss victim Jean-Marie Furbringer said: "Honestly it's a pastoral "blabla", saying it's the fault of the devil".

USA survivor Peter Isely, of the victim advocacy group Ending Clergy Abuse, said the pope didn't go far enough.

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"In abuse and its concealment, the powerful (of the Church) show themselves not men of heaven but men of earth." he said.

In his lengthy speech, Francis said the Church would draw inspiration from the "best practices" in the Seven Strategies for Ending Violence against Children, measures developed under the guidance of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

He said the sexual abuse of children becomes even more scandalous when it occurs in the Catholic Church, "for it is utterly incompatible with her moral authority and ethical credibility", adding that children "instead of finding spiritual guides. encountered tormentors" who abused their power.

He outlined that the National Bishops Conferences guidelines on clerical sexual abuse will be reviewed and bolstered and the Church's definition of a "minor" will be raised from the current age of 14 years to "expand protection" for children.

"It is our duty to pay close heed to this silent, choked cry", he added.

Senior bishops at the conference heard chilling testimony from victims, including one who said she was forced to have three abortions after suffering years of abuse by a priest who beat her and another who said he had been molested more than 100 times.

Italian abuse survivor Alessandro Battaglia cried in St. Peter's Square along with other victims.

"We wanted to see measures, to see the bishops (guilty of protecting paedophile priests) named". But he said "if someone is investigating a case, that's not covering it up".

The admission sparked an angry reaction from the global association ECA (Ending Clerical Abuse), which slammed the destruction of such documents "illegal" and called for an investigation.

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