Pope Francis wrote: “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,” in a 2,000 word letter to the world’s Catholics. How very true that is. The letter was publicized amidst numerous scandals involving allegations of sexual abuse by leaders of the Catholic Church.
As the Washington Post reported, a Pennsylvania grand-jury released a report last week detailing seven decades of abuse by 300 priests. Francis wrote: “Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such [abuses] from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated […].”
At the very least, the letter seems to indicate a slow acceptance by the Catholic Church that the abuse is perpetuated by a tolerant culture to such abuses. Historically, the church has covered up such scandals and buried them in secrecy. Acknowledgement of the serious abuse problem within the church is a small step, but a significant one. Such abuse should not be tolerated, and there should be real consequences for those who have perpetuated or willfully ignored it within the Church hierarchy.