This one is a gimme. There is no excuse for the actions of the Church over the years and how they reacted to the sexual abuse of children in the recent past.
It’s not ignorance, but rather the active role that the Church had in covering up and protecting the priests instead of the churchgoers that need the protection.
A recent speech by the pope was:
Above all I must say that these revelations were a shock for me. They are a great sadness, and it is hard to understand how this perversion of the priestly ministry was possible. The priest, at the moment of ordination, a moment for which he prepared for years, says “yes” to Christ, in order to be his mouth, his hand and to serve with all his being so that the Good Shepherd who loves us, who helps and guides us to truth, may be present in the world. How a man who has said and done this can afterwards fall into such perversions is difficult to understand. It is a great sadness, a great sadness also that Church leadership was not sufficiently vigilant and sufficiently swift and decisive in taking the necessary measures. On account of this we are living a time of penance, humility, renewed sincerity, as I wrote to the Irish Bishops. I feel that we must now be engaged in a time of penance, a time of humility; we must renew and learn again absolute sincerity. In relation to the victims I would like to say that there are three important things. Our first interest must be the victims; how to repair the damage, how to assist these persons in overcoming their trauma, in finding life again, in finding again trust in the message of Christ. Care, commitment in favour of the victims is the first priority, together with material, psychological and spiritual assistance. Secondly there is the problem of those who are guilty. A just penalty must exclude them from all access to young people. We know that this is an illness, that free will does not rule where this illness is present, and that we must protect these persons from themselves and find a way to assist them and to protect them from themselves and exclude them from access to young people. Thirdly there is the question of prevention through education and the selection of candidates to the priesthood. We must be in such a way attentive so as to exclude, according to human possibilities, future cases. Here I would like to thank the British Bishops for their attention, their cooperation both with the See of Peter and with the civil authorities, and for their attention to victims and respect for the law. I have the impression that the British Bishops have been doing and are doing a good job and I am grateful to them.
Much like the famous Nixon speech “mistakes were made,” it was a much a deflection of blame as anything I’ve heard. At least say you messed up — that the institution is broken and you’ll step and and fix it.
In a different speech he said that he would “pray for the victims.”
Then to say that it’s an illness and it’s not their fault.
I couldn’t give a shit about that. If it’s not their fault then get them away from the kids. If you think that there’s an issue, so something about it, don’t just pray about it. Prayer doesn’t protect the kids. It’s your job to do that.
A of of the victims’ statute of limitation have expired where they live. But the Vatican has its own legal system. Prosecute them yourself.
If I were elected to be pope (yes, it can technically happen *) I’d immediately investigate all the priests that have been accused. If they are deemed to be guilty they would be defrocked. Moreover the name of every preist that had been kicked out would be printed in every church bulletin in the world.
Falling back on the notion that they’ll get it in the end is of no consolation to the victims.
* – If it did happen I would be ordained a deacon, priest, bishop then pope in turn. It’s happened before, but obviously not with me.