Pope Francis Vows to Seek Justice for Victims of Abuse

Pope Francis Vows to Seek Justice for Victims of Abuse

(RepublicanPress.org) – On January 20, a German law firm released the findings of its investigation into the abuse of minors by priests in Munich and Freising during a 5-year period ending in 1982. The investigators concluded the former Pope Benedict XVI failed to prevent the mistreatment during his tenure as Archbishop of Munich. Pope Francis met with members of the Vatican office that handles abuse allegations the following day and vowed to seek justice for victims of abuse by clergy members.

Pope Francis didn’t directly address the report during his speech to the congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Instead, he talked in general terms about the Church’s approach to handling incidents of abuse.

The Pope pointed to recent updates made to Vatican procedures for handling abuse cases. He said those changes wouldn’t be enough to “stem the phenomenon” of abuse. However, according to him, they served as a “necessary step to restore justice” for victims, “repair scandal, and reform the offender.”

Sadly, the Catholic Church has long been accused of a pattern of denying reports of sexual abuse or covering up the incidents with payouts and nondisclosure agreements. In some instances, the Church has even reportedly transferred ownership of properties to exclude them from potential settlement orders with victims.

Does Pope Francis’ vow indicate a willingness by Church authorities to assume increased responsibility for the untoward actions of its clergy members?

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