Pope Francis's Letter 0f 20 August 2018



The heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced. But their outcry was more powerful than all the measures meant to silence it, or sought even to resolve it by decisions that increased its gravity by falling into complicity. The Lord heard that cry and once again showed us on which side He stands. — Pope Francis


And as I said in the other thread on this topic, it’s all just words. What is changing?


What changes do you need to see? The pope can not turn back time to prevent the abuse. All he can do at this time is use words.




No one can argue it is not a moral catastrophe.

I watched a young priest, who was ordained about 2 years ago, read a letter from our Bishop before Mass. I thought to myself, will this be the last letter he reads addressing the sex abuse scandal
in the church or will it be one of many he will have to read during his lifelong career as a priest if he remains a priest his whole
I can’t say either of these letters really make me feel better. They are just words.
How could such evil take hold and be allowed to grow and remain in the Church started by Jesus is what I want to know?


Since 2002 the following changes that I am aware of…there may be other changes

  1. Zero Tolerance for priests who are proven to have abused, which means, they are removed from ministry.
  2. Accused abusers are suspended until the investigation is completed.
  3. All individuals (laity included) are required to go through program called “protecting God’s children” before they are allowed to volunteer/work with children in church programs (this includes sports coaches, playground volunteers, scout leaders, etc).
  4. Bishops have to report accusations to police immediately upon learning of the accusation.


I think we still need a much more vocal reply. Everyone - priests, bishops, cardinals, laity, and Catholic Answers presenters and guests need to say we have failed, people need to be removed, and we need change. Saying sorry and not changing anything substantial is not acceptable.

But I do also think we need to stay together, to change the church (small c) for the better.

The ‘Catholic Church’, especially its bishops, has failed God and failed the children of the Church. Let us own that, and then change that together.


because of satan. If we don’t see who is behind all of this and who will not stop until the end of time we are fooling ourselves. THIS IS A SPIRITUAL WAR! We can’t give up. satan uses clergy because he knows when he can take down clergy he takes down many lay people as well because of the doubt and hurt it causes. satan will not stop fighting until Our Lord comes again so we can NOT stop praying, sacrificing and doing penance for our souls, our Catholic Church, our clergy and for all those who don’t know God yet. Nothing will change until every Christian lives as Christians should, prays as Christians should, believes as Christians should and turns to God alone. Don’t doubt that God wins the war but satan will try to win as many battles as he can before the end. This is a Spiritual war and we can not give up.


In addition to what I posted above, I found this…

  • Safe Environment training is taking place in 193 dioceses/eparchies of the country. Over 2 million adults have been trained to recognize the behavior of offenders and what to do about it.
  • Over 5 million children have been equipped with the skills to help them protect themselves from abuse.
  • Background checks are conducted on Church personnel who have contact with children. Over 2 million volunteers and employees; 52,000 clerics; 6,205 candidates for ordination have had their backgrounds evaluated.
  • All dioceses/eparchies have Codes of Conduct spelling out what is acceptable behavior. This serves to let people know what can and cannot be done as well as letting others know what behavior can be expected. It encourages the reporting of suspicious behavior.
  • All dioceses/eparchies have Victim Assistance Coordinators, assuring victims that they will be heard. In 2009, $6,536,109 was spent on therapy for the victims of clergy sexual abuse.
  • All dioceses/eparchies have Safe Environment Coordinators who assure the ongoing compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children.
  • Bishops are meeting with victims.
  • Dioceses/eparchies have Healing Masses, retreats for victim/survivors and other reconciliation events.
  • There is a Zero Tolerance policy on abusers since 2002. If a credible accusation is made against a cleric, they are permanently removed from ministry regardless of how long ago the offense occurred.
  • Dioceses/eparchies require intensive background screening as well as psychological testing for those wishing to enter the seminary.


Good measures. I would also excommunicate the abusers reserved to the Holy See and at least laicise those who covered up the abuse, possibly excommunicating them too.


It’s quite possible that more changes will be developed since the latest news was published. I agree with laicizing them, but not excommunication. They just like all sinners, need access to the sacrament of reconciliation.


Excommunications can be lifted and I think it sends a needed message that this is not going to be tolerated any more. These people have jeopardized countless souls.


I think the Sacrament of Penance is the one Sacrament an excommunicated person is allowed to. I mean, it is the first step to being reconciled with the Church.


Thank you for posting this…


Why can’t the Church simply apply what Our Lord said about causes of falling?
If these people are the cause of downfall, why not to cut them off and throw them away?
Strip them of every position they have and excommunicate them.


Very appropriate letter. Well said.


Ok, what he said is pretty good, but what is he personally going to do about all this? He has authority over the bishops who have been doing these horrible deeds, not us.


I agree… any clergy who sexual abuses another person (child or adult) should be PUBLICLY excommunicated by his bishop and any bishop who commits sexual abuse or covers it up should be PUBLICLY excommunicated by the Pope.


I don’t think you quoted what you intended to.

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