Pope delivers apology to Irish victims of sexual abuse but does not ask for bishops resignation.

This morning the Pope delivered his Pastoral Letter to Catholics in Ireland to apologise to sexual abuse victims at the hands of priests.

Amidst recent relevations of widespread clerical abuse in Germany, Netherlands, Austria and German - speaking parts of Switzerland and Italy as well as in America and Canada there are far wider issues facing the church than just Ireland.

It was a week of unmitigated calamity for Benedict XVI, who became pope pledging to shore up Christianity in an increasingly secular Europe.

Related links are numerous as one would expect  and I will update as I can.  Here are just a few links with well balanced reports and commentaries.
Clerical Whispers  has an excellent series of articles and commentary including the response
from Executive Director of the organisation One in Four Maeve Lewis who says they are disappointed by the letter and said it falls far short of addressing the concerns of victims of clerical abuse.

"The Pope speaks on only of failures in the Irish Church, and neglects the role of the Vatican. If the Church cannot acknowledge this fundamental truth, it is still in denial.'
'We are astounded at the Pope's assertion that the roots of clerical sexual abuse lie in the secularisation of Irish society, the falling off of religious devotion and failures to adhere to canon law.
'This shows a complete misunderstanding of the dynamics of sexual violence, and creates little hope that the Church will ever respond effectively to the problem.'

Also in the Guardian the article below, 

and Kathy Shaw has an excellent Abuse Tracker Blog with a digest of numerous links to media coverage of clergy abuse and viewpoints from all angles.
This article by Alex Massie from the UK magazine Spectator is very pertinent as it seems as if the Pope really is evading things and is fixed in a ridiculous mindset that somehow the liberals in the church were to blame for  this.  

Enlightened Catholicism Blog deals really well with the issues and it highlights in separate sections each part of the Pope's letter and  gives thoughtful  comprehensive responses

When the Vatican's Chief Exorcist for the last 25 years, Father Gabriele Amorth starts to say things like sex abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church are proof that "the Devil is at work inside the Vatican", I can't help wonder what the hell is happening to my church.


claire said...

Your Church, and mine, is not the Vatican. It is you and me.
When Benedict was still Josef Ratzinger, he protected the priests and bishops from his Roman office. He offered asylum to Boston bishop Law...

Interesting comment from the Chief Exorcist...

Great post, Phil!

Fran said...

It is a most moving post indeed, as Claire says.

My heart is sick with all of this- so much so that I can't even write of it.

Thanks for your comments on my blog today, if we can grip our hands together and help hold each other up with mutuality, love and respect, we are Christ in the world.

Peace to you, peace deep in your heart.

Philomena Ewing said...

Hi Fran and Claire,
It is good for you both to be here or does that sound too biblical?!

Fran, Thank you for following and I much appreciate the warm comments.
To both of you :
It gives me great heart to feel this sort of support and I agree wholeheartedly that together we do stand a chance of forging something new from these bad times.