Pope Francis must further elaborate on how the Vatican could move beyond “palliatives” and resolve ongoing abuse scandals currently rocking the Church across the world, Deirdre Kenny, the advocacy director for the Irish One in Four non-governmental organization.
Pope Francis will arrive in Ireland on Saturday and is expected to meet with survivors of clerical sexual abuse during the visit in an apparent bid to initiate direct dialogue and potential reconciliation. On Monday, the pope released an open letter, in which he directly addressed for the first time the accusations of sexual abuse by priests.
In 2009, a report commissioned by the Irish government showed that the Archdiocese of Dublin and other authorities of the Catholic Church in Ireland hushed up clerical child abuse from January 1975 to May 2004.
In the most recent episode, a grand jury report revealed on August 14, 2018, a massive cover-up of child sexual abuse and rape of more than 1,000 children by at least 301 Roman Catholic priests in the US state of Pennsylvania. Greg Burke, a spokesman for the Holy See, responded two days later, expressing “shame and sorrow” over the report.
Moreover, in late July, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Australian Archbishop Philip Wilson of Adelaide, who was found guilty of covering up a priest’s sexual abuse of minors in the 1970s.