CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 17 November 2018

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Vatican wants accountability for abusers and their protectors

VATICAN (CNS): Greg Burke, head of the Vatican press office, called the abuses described in a 900-page grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania, the United States “criminal and morally reprehensible.” 
 
He said, “Those acts were betrayals of trust that robbed survivors of their dignity and their faith. The Church must learn hard lessons from its past, and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur.” 
 
The report, released on August 14, detailed decades of child sexual abuse by 301 priests, who harmed more than 1,000 victims.
 
In a written statement on August 16, Burke said, “there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame and sorrow.”
 
He wrote, “Victims should know that the pope is on their side. Those who have suffered are his priority, and the Church wants to listen to them to root out this tragic horror that destroys the lives of the innocent.” 
 
Burke said, “The Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors … (and) encourages continued reform and vigilance at all levels of the Catholic Church, to help ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults from harm.”
 
He stressed, “The Holy See also wants to underscore the need to comply with the civil law, including mandatory child abuse reporting requirements.” 
 
Burke added, “The Holy Father understands well how much these crimes can shake the faith and the spirit of believers and reiterates the call to make every effort to create a safe environment for minors and vulnerable adults in the Church and in all of society.” 

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