Vatican has expressed deep shame and sorrow on the findings of the Pennsylvania report which revealed that more than 300 Roman Catholic priests had sexually abused over 1000 people over a period of seven decades. Vatican has pledged to hold each guilty pastor and the ones who protected them accountable for their deeds.
The statement which followed a long, killing silence over the shameful revelations of the report of US Grand jury and has shaken the conscious of every Christian and American Church, said that the Holy See has taken a serious cognizance of the same.
Vatican spokesperson, Greg Burke, pressed the “need to comply” with the laws and regulations of civil courts and the urgency of mandatorily reporting such crimes against minors as such incidences can deeply hurt the spirit and soul of the believers of faith. Pope Francis, he said wants to uproot this tragic horror tale.
It was earlier this week, that the Grand jury of Pennsylvania had presented to the public stating that about 301 priests in the state had abused minors over past 70 years. The report also carried graphic illustrations of children being sexually harassed by the priests. The report described the acts as both criminal and morally shameful. These acts had stripped the survivors of their honour and their trust.
The spokesperson Greg Burke, said, “the Church must learn hard lessons from the past, and there should be accountability for both abusers and those who permitted abuse to occur”.
The statement from Vatican came after US-bishops had called for probe led by Vatican and supported by lay investigators in the accusations of sexual abuse by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, from Washington. Although, Vatican did not respond to their request directly but Pope Francis had accepted the resignation of McCarrick after charges against him suitably substantiated. This was the first resignation by a cardinal ever since French theologian Louis Billot had left over his disagreement with Pope Pius XI in 1927.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops in a statement said, “the overarching goal in all of this is stronger protections against predators in the Church and anyone who would conceal them, protections that will hold bishops to the highest standards of transparency and accountability.