Pope Francis spoke Sunday at the conclusion of a four-day Vatican summit addressing the sexual abuse of minors in light of recent scandals in the Church. The Church has been grappling with the Pennsylvania grand jury report which uncovered the abuse of thousands of minors by 300 priests in addition to revelations of abuse perpetrated by prominent Church leaders, such as former D.C. Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
“I make a heartfelt appeal for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors both sexually and in other areas, on the part of all authorities and individuals,” the pope said, “for we are dealing with abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth: this is demanded by all the many victims hidden in families and in the various settings of our societies.” . . .
Summit moderator and former Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi later said that the Vatican will soon release a child protection policy and guidelines for preventing sexual abuse of minors for Vatican City State and a handbook for bishops to better comprehend their duties in these matters.
The address by Pope Francis met with criticism from some survivors and the media, given his unwillingness to address allegations of his own cover-up in the case of former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
The summit follows the laicization, or dismissal from the priesthood, of McCarrick after a Church investigation deemed sexual assault allegations against him were credible. The allegations included that he abused a minor during the sacrament of confession and sexually abused seminarians. (Read more from “Pope Francis Calls for ‘All out Battle’ Against Sex Abuse but Completely Disappoints Victims” HERE)