In one of Pope Francis’ first statements on the clergy abuse crisis in the United States, he inexplicably sympathized with American Bishops and the cross they purportedly bear in dealing with the clergy sexual abuse crisis here. His comments, which were made to a gathering of US Bishops, brought outrage and criticism from a variety of victim advocate groups and survivors themselves.
SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) Spokeswoman Barbara Dorris called it a “slap in the face” to survivors of clergy sexual abuse. John Salveson, a survivor and President of FACSA (Foundation to Abolish Child Sexual Abuse) stated that the Pope’s statements “reflects a profound misunderstanding of the role the church has played in this self-inflicted crisis.”
Actions speak louder than words, in my opinion. Therefore, this writer is willing to give Pope Francis some leeway in his remarks since he is dealing with a recalcitrant hierarchy in the United States who have buried their heads in the sand in failing to acknowledge their sins of the past and their unwillingness to rectify the problem now by ending their concerted opposition to Statute of Limitations reform and a more compassionate attitude towards survivors.
For a complete review of the Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/09/23/advocates-for-clergy-sex-abuse-victims-criticize-pope-franciss-remarks-to-bishops/