Pope Francis has responded to revelations of predator priests abusing thousands of children in one US state.

“Regarding the report made public in Pennsylvania this week, there are two words that can express the feelings faced with these horrible crimes: shame and sorrow.

The Holy See treats with great seriousness the work of the Investigating Grand Jury of Pennsylvania and the lengthy Interim Report it has produced. The Holy See condemns unequivocally the sexual abuse of minors.

The abuses described in the report are criminal and morally reprehensible. 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.

Most of the discussion in the report concerns abuses before the early 2000s. By finding almost no cases after 2002, the Grand Jury’s conclusions are consistent with previous studies showing that Catholic Church reforms in the United States drastically reduced the incidence of clergy child abuse.

The Holy See encourages continued reform and vigilance at all levels of the Catholic Church, to help ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults from harm.

The Holy See also wants to underscore the need to comply with the civil law, including mandatory child abuse reporting requirements.

The Holy Father understands well how much these crimes can shake the faith and the spirt 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.

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.”

Statement by the the Director of the Holy See Press Office, Greg Burke, on the report of the Pennsylvania Grand Jury issued earlier this week in the United States over the sexual abuse of minors.

Vatican responds to Pennsylvania Grand Jury abuse report (Vatican News)


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48 thoughts on “Papal Bull

  1. RuilleBuille

    The RCC obstructed, lied and refused to supply evidence to this inquiry from the start in order to dodge blame. Nothing they say is truthful.

  2. kellMA

    “The Holy See ENCOURAGES continued reform and vigilance at all levels of the Catholic Church, to help ensure the protection of minors and vulnerable adults from harm”. Encouragement is clearly not cutting it. How long are you going to “encourage” it? Are you in charge, or what? My CEO doesn’t “encourage” me to abide by my anti-money laundering requirements. We enforce it or we are out. Pathetic

  3. Brother Barnabas

    “Victims should know the Pope is on their side”

    except theyre fighting tooth and nail to oppose bills in the US that would extend the statute of limitations for victims of child sex abuse – wanting a time limit on when plaintiffs can seek legal redress, so evading responsibility on a legal technicality.

    that’s being “on their side”?

    these fiddle-diddlers are flippy poo poo

    anyone who goes to the phoenix park is condoning this

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      I heartily agree. I was ranting so much about the Pennsylvanian issue last night that I realised I wasn’t actually making much sense. While ranting, though, I decided that even though I feel sorry for old biddies of faith, it’s that lack of taking responsibility for what their church does that caused all the bloody problems in the first place. Well, they didn’t cause the abuse but people knew it was going on and did nothing. It’s that same “Oh, I’m holy and good: I’m very upset about this but what can I do?” attitude. Fupp that. Stand up and be counted or fupp off.

      1. Janet, I ate my avatar

        that would also be my feelings on the matter
        how people can seem to separate this abuse and behavior from ” their” church is beyond me

        1. newsjustin

          It’s not a case of separating it. It’s the exact opposite. It could be very easy for many to turn their back on their church, shout at it from the outside, rage against it at dinner parties and tell people how much they hate the church and are not a part of it. Wash their hands of the whole thing.

          Many church members don’t do that. They stay as faithful members of a church humiliated by these scandals. They do not leave when the going gets tough and claim to have nothing to do with it. They put their hands up to be parish child protection officers.

          1. Brother Barnabas

            and also, justin, to say that the church is humiliated by these scandals is almost to suggest that the church is a victim. it’s not. yes, it was individuals within the church that committed these acts, but the church itself is at very least an accessory – it enabled and facilitated these acts. and now it’s doing all it can to deny, conceal evidence, obstruct investigations, evade responsibility and make it as hard as possible for victims (despite what it claims)

          2. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

            I typed out a long angry reply to this (because I’m furious about this at the moment — I don’t often get this worked up) but I deleted it.
            I just can’t understand the statement “leaving when the going gets tough”. You’re not leaving Jesus, just a rotten, corrupt organisation.

          3. Brother Barnabas

            a rotten, corrupt organisation that took ownership of ‘Jesus’ for its own profit and power-driven agenda

          4. newsjustin

            Jesus founded the church. Asking why Catholics won’t leave the church is like asking why people won’t leave their families and join other families.

            The church isn’t a victim. I never said it was. “When the going gets tough” was meant to mean just that. When it’s tempting to leave and never come back.

            Personally, and I can only speak for myself, I’m not going to leave my church because of the evil of others.

          5. Janet, I ate my avatar

            Anyone claiming Christ or Peter are vastly misinformed on the true origins.

            The first Catholic Church was the Roman Catholic Church. It could not have been founded by Peter at all. Why not?

            For the first 280 years of Christian history, Christianity was banned by the Roman Empire, and Christians were terribly persecuted.

            As mentioned in another comment it was founded by Roman Emperor Constantine after he converted to Christianity.

            In AD 313, Constantine provided religious toleration with the Edict of Milan lifting the ban on Christianity.

            Later, in AD 325, Constantine called the Council of Nicea in an attempt to unify Christianity.

            As noted already, wen Constantine converted, he kept many traditions from pagan beliefs. These were incorporated into the church he promoted which is wy many rituals can be found in the catholic church that have no clear basis within the bible. For example nothing in the bible says confession must be to a priest, nothing justifies praying to saints or calling upon them, nothing justifies infants who cannot decide for themselves being baptized.

            Constantine believed that Christianity could bring the nation of Rome together. This was the birth of Roman Catholic Church.

          6. ReproButina

            “Jesus founded the church”

            This is the part of faith that people can’t seem to grasp. People who believe, and I was one long ago, can’t just switch. The belief is that this is Jesus’ church and the rest are wrong, irrespective of the many, many flaws of the clergy. My father used to respond to any and all priest’s being caught by telling us to believe the message, not the messenger.

            You wouldn’t ask a Shels fan to switch to Bohs, or a Leinster fan to switch to Munster or a Liverpool fan to switch to Everton because of the actions of a player or manager. Religion runs much deeper than supporting a sports team. As long as there is belief there is no crime that will turn believers against the church.

          7. Janet, I ate my avatar

            there were plenty of crimes that caused the rise in Protestants in the first place,
            maybe it’s time for a new Catholic church instead of condoning the present one,
            I’d like to see all religion swept into the same but if some people find it necessary at least let it represent the message of love it is meant to

          8. Janet, I ate my avatar

            I sympathize with you and respect your faith
            but don’t you see that following the same people also acts as condoning these same people’s actions
            would your energy not be better spent rallying for a deep cleaning Reformation and refusal to follow the old gaurd

          9. newsjustin

            I’m aware of that Janet. Thats not news.

            As I said, and I see that you don’t disagree with me, Jesus founded the church. Many more came after him who shaped it – Peter, James, Paul…..Also, the RCC never claims that it’s rituals and teachings are based on scripture alone. It is based on scripture and tradition.

          10. Cian

            The Eastern Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Church of the East, the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches even the Mormons claim episcopal apostolic succession – they all have an unbroken chain of bishops all the way back to Jesus. The RC church isn’t unique in this regard.

            One can turn one’s back on the RC church, but remain in the Christian family.

            “Asking why Catholics won’t leave the church is like asking why people won’t leave their families and join other families.”
            In my mind it’s more like asking someone why they hang around with one set of cousins – who have a history of rape and child abuse – rather than choosing to spend their time with a separate group of cousins.

          11. Janet, I ate my avatar

            exactly there is not one true church,
            surely Christ would be happier not to be associated with the Catholic Church as it stands and in my opinion neither should it’s followers, I’d feel dirty by association

          12. newsjustin

            “As long as there is belief there is no crime that will turn believers against the church.”

            But that does not mean that all human beings in the church…up to the Pope if nevessary, can’t and shouldn’t be held to account by members of the church – and, it goes without saying, civil authorities – for crimes. They should be dragged by the hair from offices if necessary.

            I understand and share people’s frustration that this isn’t always (up until recently hardly ever) done. But I hope people can also understand why Catholics won’t just turn their backs on their church and leave it to others to sort it out, maybe coming back in 20 years when the coast is clear.

          13. Brother Barnabas

            as an aside, justin – and despite it all- fair play to you for standing up and defending your beliefs

            even though I think you’re wrong (!), you’re obviously a decent and genuine person

          14. ReproButina

            I wasn’t suggesting believers wouldn’t want people held responsible for their actions. I was just trying to explain why people wouldn’t leave.

            There’s no logical argument that can convince a firm believer in church A to switch to church B, no matter how similar.

          15. Cupofteaanyone

            Turning your back on the RCC is the right thing to do. You can still follow the bible and act right by your god. You can still be religious but you don’t need to support and fund an organisation with such a history of abuse of power from Saint Mother Theresa down to its pedo priests. We aren’t finished with the scandals yet, sure we are now just seeing the #METOO campaign reaching the Nuns.

            The pope is coming to talk about families. But the organisation not ok with normal LGBT families. The organisation still breeds hate for LGBT and women. It still tries to put shame on peoples sexuality and sex before marriage and still resists contraception and sex education around that.

            And it is people that claim to be good people that keep this organisation up and running so it can bring its bigotry and hate into the future.

          16. newsjustin

            Thanks very much Brother. That’s a nice thing to say and you are kind to say it.

            The only belief I’m defending here btw is the belief that good people shouldn’t have to turn their back on their own church (or other organisation) that, in theory and mostly in practice, is based in goodness, because of the actions of evil people doing evil things.

            Similarly, I wouldn’t suggest that decent, freedom loving citizens of the USA tear up their passports and move to Canada.

        2. Lush

          Thanks one and all above for a calm, reasoned and respectful conversation about a very divisive issue. I’m with Janet on this one, but all the comments were interesting and the links informative.

      1. Brother Barnabas

        i thought you deleted it to obstruct the discussion (joking!)

        i posted link in response below

      2. Cian

        I’ve found if I add more than one link to a post it gets blocked.

        OR if I only have one link, but then edit the post, on the second save it gets blocked.

        1. Johnny

          I can just go direct and read the FG press release on whatever spin your peddling or read the Indo !

  4. Frilly Keane

    Victims should know that the Pope is on their side.

    he is in his pole

    Pay your redress bill
    Stop dragging yere victims through courts, inquiries and investigations
    and surrender yere properties

    ta Francie
    enjoy Knock

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      The fact that this corporation has gotten away with facilitating rape, abuse and cover up of their heinous crimes shows there isn’t.

  5. Brother Barnabas

    interesting too that zuckerberg got hauled before a house committee etc for far, far less. why isn’t the pope being called to account in same way ?

    1. Spaghetti Hoop

      Yup. Always said it; no other corporation would be still around following human atrocities of this scale and duration of abuse. The “Ah shure they’re not all bad” mantra really highlights the brainwashing. Despicable organisation. Their influence in sub-saharan Africa is worrying.

      1. Cupofteaanyone

        If there was the same amount of abuse and coverups by clowns do you think parents would still take their kids to the circus?

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