Pope Benedict XVI has issued a statement saying he”shares the outrage, betrayal and shame felt by so many of the faithful in Ireland (over) these heinous crimes,” over reports that church leaders in Ireland covered up sexual abuse by priests for decades.
Just a Few Bad Apples
The Pope’s statement expressed his “profound regret” at the actions of “some members of the clergy”.
Church Not to Blame?
In other words, this isn’t the fault of the Church; it’s not the responsibility of the Pope or the Vatican. The decades long cover up involving four consecutive Archbishops who covered up thousands of cases of sexual abuse by priests is just another isolated case of “some members of the clergy” who betrayed the trust placed in them by the victims, their families and their parishioners.
The statement indicates that the Pope intends to write a pastoral letter to Catholics in Ireland indicating what steps the church intends to take in response to the abuse allegations.
Lesson to be Learned
Perhaps the Pope should take a lesson from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Antigonish.
The Diocese of Antigonish has fully accepted responsibility for the sexual abuse perpetrated by priests of the Diocese and has created a program to compensate survivors of sexual abuse by its priests.
What do you think? Is the Irish abuse scandal the result of a few misguided priests or evidence of a systematic cover up by the Catholic Church?