ChILD SEX ABUSE: Will Pope Francis resign? |Jeremy Spell Blog

Pressure is mounting on Pope Francis to
resign after a grand jury report in
Pennsylvania found that possibly more than
1,000 children in six dioceses had been
sexually abused by about 300 priests or
higher ranking officials.
On top of that, the report said that bishops
and other top church officials had tried to
contain the public outcry and liability by
covering up the crimes, which Pennsylvania
Attorney General Josh Shapiro claimed
“went all the way to the Vatican.”
But the report, and the Vatican’s
subsequent tepid response, has exposed a
split within the Holy See which threatens to
bring down Pope Francis just five years
after he replaced Pope Benedict XVI.
Several days after the news broke and
dominated U.S. headlines, the Vatican
released a statement.
Using uncharacteristically strong language
for the Vatican, even on such serious issues
as child abuse, the Holy See spokesman said
to victims that “the pope is on their side.”
Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said the
incidents of abuse graphically documented
in the grand jury report were “betrayals of
trust that robbed survivors of their dignity
and their faith.”
“The church must learn hard lessons from
its past, and there should be accountability
for both abusers and those who permitted
abuse to occur,” he said.
But for many Catholics and long-time
Vatican observers, the acknowledgment of
the criminal behavior was too little, too late.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation, a
group that describes itself as agnostics and
atheists (including former Catholics) are
running a full-page ad later this week in
The New York Times urging people to leave
the Church.
“Priests were raping little boys and girls,
and the men of God who were responsible
for them not only did nothing; they hid it
all,” the ad says. “Six dioceses, three
hundred predatory priests, a staggering
1,000-plus victims.
“No bishops indicted. The pope’s response?
All words, no action — except, insultingly, to
call on the faithful to ‘pray and fast.”
The advert in the Times comes after Francis
was taken to task on Sunday by Archbishop
Carlo Maria Vigano, the former Vatican
ambassador to the U.S.

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