Do not hide reality of abuse, Pope tells religious orders

Pope Francis with members of three religious orders at the Vatican yesterday (CNS/Vatican Media)

Religious orders must never tolerate the abuse of children or vulnerable persons, and they must end the practice of moving alleged abusers to other countries, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNS.

Departing from his prepared remarks during a meeting with members of three religious congregations – the Order of the Mother of God, the Basilians of St Josaphat and the Congregation of the Mission – the Pope called on them to “not hide this reality”.

“Please remember this well: Zero tolerance on abuse against children or disabled persons; zero tolerance,” he said. “We are religious men, we are priests who bring people to Jesus, not ‘eat’ people with our concupiscence. And the abuser destroys, he ‘eats’ – so to speak – the abused with his concupiscence.”

The Pope also called on priests and brothers to “not be ashamed to denounce” one of their confreres if an abuse is known because they must “protect the others”.

“Please, I ask of you this: zero tolerance. You cannot solve this with a transfer (and say), ‘Ah, I’ll move him from this continent to the other continent.’ No!” the Pope said.

Pope Francis said he interrupted his traditional July break from meetings to gather with the three orders because religious life “is so important in the Church, but there isn’t always time and indeed, in this vacation holiday, it is usually closed. But for you it has been opened.”

FULL STORY

Do not hide reality of abuse, Pope tells religious orders (By Junno Arocho Esteves, CNS

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