- What about the child?
The potential pitfalls of commercial surrogacy have emerged in the case of a Down’s syndrome baby born to a Thai woman. Yet there may be circumstances in which the Church’s ethical opposition to surrogate motherhood could be challenged
- Home News
- World News
- Parish Practice
- Letters Extra
- The living Spirit
- Francis backs Romero cause and reveals details of life in Rome during Q+A on Papal plane
- Pope asks prayers after great nephews, their mother die in car crash
- ‘Wake-up call’ for Asia as Francis leaves Korea following trip that centred on peace and dignity for the poor
- Christian persecution 'off the scale' in Iraq, says Welby, as he backs calls for ambassador for religious freedom
- We should have seen the Iraq crisis coming Baroness Warsi
- Wealthy Korea needs a jolt from Pope Francis Fr John Sullivan
- The sign of peace edict has Francis’ fingerprints on it Nathan Chase
Pope Francis has been criticised by victims’ groups for what they say is an inadequate response to questions about clerical child abuse that he gave in an interview with the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday.
“The Catholic Church is probably the only public institution to act with transparency and responsibility [on the issue],” the Pope claimed. “No one has done more. And yet the Church is the only one to be attacked.”
Victims’ advocates said his tone was reminiscent of the defensive rhetoric adopted by the Vatican 10 years ago.
“Under Pope Francis the Vatican continues to deny its role in creating and maintaining a culture where upholding the reputation of the Church is prioritised over the safety of children,” said Maeve Lewis, executive director of the Irish victims' support group One in Four.
Unlike his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis has rarely spoken out about abuse. Instead, he has focused on projecting his merciful vision of the Church and reforming the Vatican bureaucracy.
The Vatican spokesman, the Fr Federico Lombardi SJ, said on Wednesday that the upheaval of those reforms had delayed getting a promised commission on abuse off the ground. But he said the commission would eventually propose new initiatives to protect children and be a model for the Church and society at large.
In the Corriere della Sera interview Pope Francis acknowledged the “profound” wounds abuse leaves and credited Pope Benedict with having transformed the way the Church deals with the question. Benedict XVI in 2001 took over handling abuse cases because bishops were moving paedophiles around rather than punishing them. He updated the Vatican's in-house norms and in his final two years as Pope, laicised nearly 400 priests.