Pope Refuses To Visit With Sexual Abuse Victims
Pope John Paul II rejected a request to meet with survivors of sexual abuse by priests during his current tour of Canada for the Roman Catholic Church’s World Youth Day. The Canadian chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), the group that requested the visit, expressed disappointment and plans a protest during the Pope’s visit. Church officials said that World Youth Day was not an appropriate time to discuss the alleged abuse by priests, according to the New York Times. The Pope’s message for World Youth Day is that children today were not being held to “high moral standards for their lives, according to one Vatican official.
American Catholics are disappointed that the Pope will not be stopping in the US while he is in North America, or later this month when he flies to Mexico and Guatemala for canonization ceremonies. “The Church in the United States needs the leadership of the pope at this time. And I don’t think his silence” and then the decision to fly over us “will be reassuring to many people,” Susan Secker, a moral theologian and associate provost of Seattle University, a Jesuit school, told the Times.
Meanwhile, John L. Allen, Vatican correspondent at the National Catholic Reporter, wrote that many Church officials regard the magnitude of sexual abuse by priests in the United States as exaggerated, fueled in part by “the disproportionate Jewish influence in the American media.”