Published: Tue, February 26, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pope Compares Child Sexual Abuse to Human Sacrifice

Pope Compares Child Sexual Abuse to Human Sacrifice

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 Organization.

Sexual abuse is rising because of development of the web and of the communications media."The scourge of pornography has expanded to an alarming degree, causing psychological harm and damaging relations between men and women, and between adults and children", the pope said.

Yet he was allowed to stay on as bishop of the northern Argentine diocese of Oran on until 2017, when he resigned suddenly, only to be given a top job at the Vatican by Francis, his confessor.

The Pope has already handed to the bishops 21 points of reflection which examines the screening of candidates, the swift reporting of allegations and codes of conduct for church leaders.

The pope's remarks capped off an intense four days of discussion and debate at the Vatican summit on the topic of sex abuse.

Tosatti helped archbishop Carlo Vigano construct a scathing statement about the pope's knowledge of Cardinal McCarrick, the now defrocked US church leader who committed sexual abuse for years.

"Especially distressing was the pope's familiar rationalization that abuse happens in all sectors of society", Barrett Doyle said. "There is no talk about permanently excluding child rapists and abusers who are employees of the Church", said Britain's Peter Saunders, a victim who resigned from a Vatican advisory commission on combating abuse. "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".

The unprecedented Vatican summit focused on clerical sexual abuse concluded over the weekend, with Pope Francis insisting the Catholic Church must end its long history of covering up child sexual abuse.

The aim of the summit was to hit-home that clergy sex abuse and cover-ups are a global problem that threatens the mission of the Catholic Church.

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During these turbulent times, Bishop Anthony Randazzo says it's a sign of hope for the Church's future in Australia, particularly as it applies a fresh approach to the way priests are trained.

"The concrete actions will come later in what's called a 'motu proprio, ' which is a document that they said the pope is going to issue later on", he told NPR.

Asked if Francis had the Zanchetta case in mind in proposing the change, Scicluna said he didn't know any specifics about the case.

The archbishop is also adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and it is this department which is drafting a "vademecum" on the legal and pastoral responsibilities the bishops to tackle abuse.

He listed eight area of concentration: the protection of children, impeccable seriousness, genuine purification, formation of criteria for the selection and training of priesthood candidates, strengthening and reviewing guidelines by Episcopal conferences, accompaniment of those who have been abused, the digital world and sexual tourism. "From keeping the world's eyes on this institution and its failure to protect children, it's been a great success", he said.

However, she said the Pope had strongly condemned abusers in the Church in "very vivid terms and made it clear that the actions of those who cover up are equally egregious".

The bishops have discussed several measures, including a proposal to hold bishops accountable and lift the Pontifical Secret that often keeps abuse victims in the dark about how their church trials are processing.

The Pope underlined that activities and places in the Church had to be fully safe for minors.

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