“The protection of children. The primary goal of every measure must be to protect the little ones and prevent them from falling victim to any form of psychological and physical abuse. Consequently, a change of mentality is needed to combat a defensive and reactive approach to protecting the institution and to pursue, wholeheartedly and decisively, the good of the community by giving priority to the victims of abuse in every sense. We must keep ever before us the innocent faces of the little ones, remembering the words of the Master: ‘Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of scandals! For it is necessary that scandals come, but woe to the man by whom the scandal comes!’ (Matthew 18:6-7).”

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popeprayingpenance

Pope Francis

Pope Francis’s closing remarks at Vatican’s summit against abuse, February 24, 2019

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  1. Avatar Jane says:

    Thank you Mike. I am so blessed to know your work here and this entire website/blog. It’s so very refreshing. I also love the above quote as you do and I love how Pope Francis also says in his comments that we must all be humble and convert, and that is what will heal this world from this terrible sin. He also noted that a high percentage of abuse of children happens in the home. How can these children not grow up and abuse others. I love how he is getting to the root of the problem. God bless you!

  2. Avatar Christopher Lake says:

    I’m not a victim of sexual abuse by any Church leader or member, and therefore, I would not begin to say that I understand that kind of deep emotional scar. From childhood to late adolescence, I was psychologically and emotionally brutalized by different kinds of “authority figures,” from family members to, even, psychological professionals to whom I went for help when I was in a desperate place. Often, in these various situations, I felt that there was, literally, no human being on earth to whom I could appeal for help– precisely because the very “authority figures” who were *supposed* to have helped me actually inflicted some of the deepest damage. These experiences have given me a sense of kinship with sexual abuse victims in the Church, though I am not one myself.

    The strong words of Pope Francis, and of other Church leaders, at the summit on sexual abuse, give me hope that perhaps, *finally*, the worldwide Church may be turning a corner, and that now (God, please, may it be!), Church authority figures will prioritize actively helping those who have been abused within the Church over protecting the Church’s supposed reputation. God knows so well, and we have all seen, how leaders trying to protect the Church’s reputation by silencing victims has, of course, hurt the victims even more *and* greatly damaged the Church’s reputation *and* witness. Lord, please, may the results of this summit be a part of the turning of the corner that is so very needed!!