Pope Francis Must Act Now - Reform on Sexual Abuse is Long Overdue
Statement by National NOW President Toni Van Pelt
February 8, 2019
WASHINGTON - For
years, the Catholic Church hierarchy has proven it has no moral
authority on issues concerning women. This week, Pope Francis publicly acknowledged
for the first time a chronic history of sexual abuse by priests and
bishops of nuns, who had been forced to have abortions or give birth to
children of these men. In his response, he claimed that the Church has a
will to “do something more.”
So do more.
Actions speak louder than words. Stop objectifying children and women,
treating them as second class parishioners, concubines, or indentured
acolytes who are available to service predatory men in your church.
Abuse in the
Church has been a well known issue for decades. Some believe sexual
abuse of nuns dates back centuries, and in the 1990s, members of
religious orders prepared private reports about this abuse for top
Vatican officials that went nowhere.
abusive priests, open the gates of secrecy and adopt real reforms -
starting with independent oversight that includes lay persons and
leaders of the various orders of Catholic Sisters as part of the
needs to do more than improvise an answer about sexual abuse of nuns
while standing aboard an airplane. He must punish offenders, support
the families and survivors of this heinous abuse, and protect them from
retribution for coming forward.
Church must make these changes swiftly and immediately - they are
hundreds of years overdue.