Pope 'begs forgiveness' from abuse victims over 'sins' of church

[Pope ‘begs forgiveness’ from abuse victims over ‘sins’ of church

Pope Francis has “begged forgiveness” from victims of child abuse for the “sins” by church leaders who failed to respond to the abuse.

The Pope said the Catholic Church “must weep and make reparation” for what it did to victims.

He said the church’s past attitude towards sexual abuse was “camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained”. ]

Here is his speech, very strong and moving.


*Pope’s Homily at Mass With Sexual Abuse Victims
"It is like a sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God"

You and all those who were abused by clergy are loved by God. I pray that the remnants of the darkness which touched you may be healed by the embrace of the Child Jesus and that the harm which was done to you will give way to renewed faith and joy.

I am grateful for this meeting. And please pray for me, so that the eyes of my heart will always clearly see the path of merciful love, and that God will grant me the courage to persevere on this path for the good of all children and young people. Jesus comes forth from an unjust trial, from a cruel interrogation and he looks in the eyes of Peter, and Peter weeps. We ask that he look at us and that we allow ourselves to be looked upon and to weep and that he give us the grace to be ashamed, so that, like Peter, forty days later, we can reply: “You know that I love you”; and hear him say: “go back and feed my sheep” – and I would add – “let no wolf enter the sheepfold”.*

Amen. It’s a pity children weren’t valued in the past, but better late than never.

Unfortunately people will let the devil come into them and they will twist the pope’s words. God forbid this from happening.

I fail to see how you draw that broad conclusion from the sins of a few…

I think you’re nit-picking. There was a cultural thing for the last couple hundred years (at least - likely longer) where children were seen as small adults/objects/not capable of being harmed by abuse, sexual or otherwise.

The Church was a part of this culture. I have heard until I’m sick of it, excuses made for those who covered up the abuse, since they were a part of the culture and “didn’t know better.” I think Christians should be above the culture.

The “few” were way too many. :frowning:

The men that were responsible for the cover up may have been few but they were high enough in the hierarchy to damage the whole Church.

I’m hoping that with the Popes words, people will finally stop appologizing for horrible behavior of the men in charge.




This apology, although not the first, is welcome news. The world should accept the Pope’s words (for now) in good faith.

What remains to be seen is whether the church goes from here.

  1. The church (mostly local dioceses) must end the ongoing victimization of past victims, and stop fighting and denying their legitimate claims. Many dioceses continue to deny responsibility and spend funds that could be helping victims to fight them instead. (No, the church can’t be a piggy bank for false claims, but few of these claims are false).

  2. Bishop Accountability - this is harder to know what’s right but at a minimum the church must co-operate with civil authorities in criminal prosecutions where warranted, Probably all Bishops who committed serious acts of commission or omission in the coverups should at a minimum be permanently removed from office.

Yes! :thumbsup:

Of course the abuse scandals damaged the whole Church. No one disputes that.

Back to my question to the poster:

How does that translate into “children were not valued?”
By whom? By the Church in general? I hardly think so, thinking of all the orphanages and schools that the Church has established over the millenia.

Children were not valued by the abusers, nor by those in the Church who covered up and protected the abusers - a variety of bishops and at least one pope. Nor are children valued by those who deny that it was really a problem; after all, only “a few” children were harmed.

Yes, that’s just it. Of course the primary victims were the children, but the cover up did so much damage to the Church as an institution - it’s just incredible. I can think of no better example of the concept of “satanic.” There are no excuses for the abuse and there is no justification for not coming clean about it. I love the way Pope Francis handles this issue. But there has to be cooperation and action to close out all of the claims as well.


I don’t remember if John Paul II apologized because I believe the scandals broke not too long before he died. However, I am fairly certain that Benedict XVI apologized when he also met with a group of survivors.

I look forward to the day when no more apologies are needed, but I think as long as abuse cases are being revealed, the apologies should continue. The Church is definitely making progress and should be praised for its actions with the new procedures dealing with these priests.

I see no reason to take anything in good faith that the church says regarding sexual abuse.

Why is that?


Because in regards to the abuse, every possible thing that could be done wrong, the church did wrong, sometimes in spectacular fashion. It will take much more than a few apologizes to rebuild the trust that the church destroyed.

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