Pope Slammed For Calling Bishops Courageous

Pope_Francis public domainDuring Pope Francis’ meeting with US bishops at Washington’s St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, the Pope referred to the nation’s bishops as courageous in their stance on clergy sexual abuse. The remarks drew immediate fire from advocates for survivors of sex abuse who sought to remind the Latin American pontiff of the injustices and cover-ups perpetrated by these same bishops.

“To characterize the response of American Bishops to clergy abuse victims as ‘generous’ and ‘courageous’ is bizarre,” said John Salveson, president of the Philadelphia-based Foundation to Abolish Child Sex Abuse and a survivor of clergy sex abuse.

“In reality, the American church hierarchy has treated clergy sex abuse victims as adversaries and enemies for decades,” he said. “His concern about how the abuse crisis has weighed on the bishops’ spirits, and his hope that all of their good deeds will help them heal from the crisis, reflects a profound misunderstanding of the role the church has played in this self-inflicted crisis.”

The Pope is tone deaf on this issue which is a surprise since he appears quite adept at reading the mood of public opinion in most other areas including climate change and economic equality. Pope Francis has a few days left on his trip to the United States. Hopefully, he will revise those unfortunate remarks about the courageous bishops and reach out to the ones with real courage-the survivors of sexual abuse by his clergy.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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