Pope Says the Catholic Church Is Great at Handling Sexual Assault

Illustration for article titled Pope Says the Catholic Church Is Great at Handling Sexual Assault

Happy Ash Wednesday! Pope Francis, previously deemed the saving grace of the modern Catholic Church, is proving once and for all that you can't get rid of thousands of years inadequacy with one complex man.

In an interview published in Il Corriere della Sera, Pope Francis said that it's unfair that the Catholic Church has gotten so much heat for the sexual abuse within its ranks, even though tons of other entities have the same problem. Via AFP:

"The Catholic Church is perhaps the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility. No-one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to have been attacked."


Francis said that cases of abuse "are terrible because they leave very deep wounds" but "that the great majority of abuses are carried out in family or neighborhood environments." True, but you can't do as much about the abuses happening within individual families as you can with the people you allow to represent your organization. Francis also gave props to Pope Benedict (word of advice: don't praise a man who left before the job was done) because of the work he'd done on this issue.

In the same interview, Francis said that marriage is between a man and a woman, "that women can and ought to be more present in the places where the Church's decisions are made" and that the Church should "take into account people's situations" when it comes to birth control. Lastly, he's into good movies. He recently watched Life is Beautiful and he enjoyed Wajda. He giveth and then He taketh away....

Image via Franco Origlia/Getty

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Violet Baudelaire

The full quote prior to this is also infuriating:

The cases of abuse are terrible because they leave very deep wounds. Benedict XVI was very brave and opened a road. The Church has done so much on this road. Perhaps most of all. The statistics on the phenomenon of violence against children are impressive, but they also show clearly that the vast majority of abuse occurs in the home environment and neighborhood.

1) The fact that the majority of abuse occurs in the home/neighborhood does not mean that the comparatively large amount of abuse that occurs in your institution is negated

2) An institution that systemically and illegally hid abuse allegations and did not report them to authorities is not acting with transparency or accountability.

3) Homes and neighborhoods are not institutions and cannot be held accountable for abuse in the same way an institution and their policies can be.

4) Can anyone else think of an institution that has had anywhere near the amount of child sexual abuse allegations that the Catholic Church has had to even compare how it was being handled? I can't think of anything - a school, another religious entity, something like the Boy Scouts/Girl Scouts, etc that even has widespread instances over many many years to compare the handling of it to.