Pope Francis Expresses Shame over Church Sexual Abuse Scandals
Catholic Pontiff, Pope Francis has expressed shame and pain at the volume of sexual abuse scandals rocking the Catholic Church as he met with 8 sexual abuse victims during the Papal visit to Ireland.
Pope Francis expressed pain and shame over the failure of Catholic Church authorities to deal decisively with sexual abuses by church clergy on children while meeting with eight Irish abuse victims on Saturday.
The Vatican reported that Pope Francis met with eight survivors of clerical, religious and institutional abuse early on Saturday evening for an hour and a half.
The eight included a victim of Catholic priest Tony Walsh, who abused hundreds of children over a period of nearly two decades before he was finally disrobed by the Catholic church and sent to prison; the victim preferred to remain anonymous.
Another sexual abuse victim, Marie Collins, who was abused by a priest when she was being treated in hospital at the age of 13, was also among the eight who met with the Catholic pontiff.
Marie Collins had been part of a Vatican commission on child protection set up by Pope Francis but quit after accusing the committee of failing to take action on the numerous cases of child sexual abuse.
Other victims that met with the Pope include; Fr Patrick McCafferty, who suffered sexual abuse while training for the priesthood in the 1980s, and Dublin city councillor Damian O’Farrell, who was abused at the age of 12, according to Irish local media.
Another special victim of abuse who met with Pope Francis was Paul Jude Redmond, whose mother was one of thousands of “fallen” Irish women locked up in Catholic-run institutions for being pregnant and unmarried.
Redmond was given away for adoption when he was born; his birth certificate was forged and his adoptive parents named as his real parents.
Upon his arrival in Ireland, Pope Francis had met with Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar where he stated that he shared in the shame and pain of the failure of the Catholic Church to deal with years of sexual abuse scandals.
“The failure of ecclesiastical authorities… to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community. I myself share those sentiments,” he said.