Church must answer abuse survivors' thirst for justice, archbishop says

Church must answer abuse survivors' thirst for justice, archbishop says

According to The Australian Herald, he is so convinced that Satan is to blame for both the sexual abuse scandals and the divisions within the Church that he has enlisted the aid of spiritual big gun - St. Michael the Archangel.

Responding to a question about how the role of women in the church was being discussed at the synod, Xaviere Missionary Sister Nathalie Becquart told reporters that many young women feel it is not easy for them to find equal opportunities in society and many say "that it is more hard for them to imagine what could be their place" in the church. "I therefore consider it to be aberrant that you should profit by the frightful scandal of the sexual abuse of minors in the United States to inflict such an unprecedented and unmerited blow on the moral authority of your Superior, the Supreme Pontiff".

"It is false to present the measures taken in his regard as "sanctions" decreed by Pope Benedict XVI and revoked by Pope Francis", Ouellett said in an open letter to Vigano.

Six weeks after Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano threw the papacy into turmoil over his claims about ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, the head of the Vatican's bishops office said there was no evidence in his files backing Vigano's claims that Francis annulled any canonical sanctions against McCarrick. "It's true, we're all sinners, all of us bishops", Francis told bishops on September 11, adding that the great accuser "looks to reveal the sins, so that they are seen, to scandalize the people".

Bishops need to do everything possible to ensure that the Church is a "a safe place for young people", he said.

The Vatican has been rocked recently by allegations of sexual abuse by priests in Germany, the U.S.

Young people want the Church to be safe, he said, and it is important to them that the priests and workers who are accompanying them are also being accompanied in their life and supported with ongoing formation.

Synodal meeting at the Vatican Pope Francis attends a synodal meeting at the Vatican, October 3, 2018.

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The earlier synods were marked by often intense debates, in and outside the synod hall, around issues pertaining to the pastoral care of divorced peoples who had remarried without an annulment.

For "healthy discernment" of a vocation, a young person needs a wise guide, the availability of a counselor outside the group and continued contact with his or her family, the archbishop said.

The synod - which has gathered 267 bishops and priests members along with 72 lay auditors and eight delegates from other Christian denominations - has had some poignant moments. Speaking while on tour in August this year, he said: "None of us can fail to be moved by the stories of young people who suffered abuse, were robbed of their innocence and left scarred".

"We are trying to grasp the challenges that young people have thrown to us", he said.

A top Vatican cardinal issued a scathing rebuke Sunday of the ambassador who accused Pope Francis of covering up the sexual misconduct of a prominent American cardinal, saying his claims were a "blasphemous" political hit job.

The Italian-A group also discussed the abuse scandal in the context of the "obstacles" the church has put in the way of its evangelizing young people.

Brian Fraga is an OSV Newsweekly contributing editor.

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