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Dear Pope: Deep Trouble

Oct 03, 2011 — Categories: , ,

I do wish you had called me. Now you are in deep trouble. I see that human rights lawyers have filed a complaint against you with the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

I do wish you had called me.  Now you are in deep trouble.  I see that human rights lawyers have filed a complaint against you with the International Criminal Court in The Hague. 

I hope you can understand why people have taken their case to the International Criminal Court and why they are charging that the abuse of children by priests and the subsequent cover-ups are crimes against humanity.  This seems to be the only way left to shine a light not only on the scope of the problem but the incompetence and intentional cover-up that has been the most common response by the church to the disclosures by survivors. 

I see that you met with a group of survivors last week when you visited Germany.  I hope that you continue this practice. 

In fact, I suggest that you meet with survivors every day that you remain on this earth.  If you did this, you still would not have met anywhere near all the men and women who were abused as children.  But it would be a good spiritual discipline for you.

I have no doubt that your expression of sorrow for the “unspeakable crimes” of child abuse in the Catholic Church is genuine.  How could you listen to the stories from survivors and not experience the deepest sorrow?   On this visit, you said:  “Above all, I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ’s grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives.”

With all due respect, sir, your expression of sorrow and the power of Christ’s grace (powerful as that is) will not bring deep healing and peace to survivors.  What survivors need and deserve is justice and vindication (See Luke 18:1-8).  They need you to do more than feel their pain.  They need you to take action to hold Bishops accountable for their institutional failures to stop abusive priests and protect children.  This has not happened and this is why they have gone to the International Criminal Court. 

Perhaps there they will find the justice and healing they deserve.

I remain faithfully awaiting your call.  I still think I can help you through this.

Your sister in Christ,

Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune
FaithTrust Institute

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