Pope Calls Sexual Abuse in Church a ‘Mystery’; SNAP Responds

Pope Benedict XVI called child sexual abuse within the church a "mystery" during an outdoor mass Sunday in Ireland. According to reports from CBS news, the pontiff – speaking during an outdoor mass with more than 75,000 attendees – said ongoing sexual abuse within the church "remains a mystery"  and admitted it had "undermined the credibility of the church's message." 

The words fell far short of repairing the widening chasm between church leaders and parishoners. In Ireland, as in the U.S., anger over church cover-ups of the sexual abuse of thousands of children has led to declining attendance at Mass. While Benedict's acknowledgement of the crisis could be seen as a step forward, his failure to take a stronger stand drew the ire of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).

Barbara Dorris, speaking on behalf of SNAP, told CBS the Pope's words were hollow.

"The pontiff's wrong: There's little mystery here," Dorris told CBS via email, referencing the "almost absolute power over devout and defenseless kids," and the bishops who abuse power and "ignore, hide and enable heinous crimes against kids." 

 

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