Pope Admits Young Catholics are Being Driven Away Over Sex Abuse Scandal

The pontiff’s own alleged behavior has resulted in calling for his resignation.

Pope Francis admitted on September 25 that young Catholics are moving away from their Roman Catholic Church roots as the institution has mismanaged the way it could have handled the clerical sexual abuse problem. The pontiff made this remark during his trip to Estonia. He added the Vatican must change its ways to get back the implicit trust it once unreservedly enjoyed among the people, particularly the future generations.

The Vatican has been assailed by allegations of a cover-up and abuse all over the world. It has miserably failed in tackling the sex abuse scandals. There have been cover-ups of multiple cases of abuse in the American, German, and Chilean churches.

The frank comments made by the pope coincided with a tough report of abused children in Germany done by the Catholic clergy. He said young people are outraged by the economic and sexual scandals which are not met with unequivocal condemnation. The Catholic Church, Francis said, is unprepared to appreciate the sensibilities of young lives. The church is satisfied by the passive role it assigns to the children. He admitted that the Catholic Church itself must be converted if wants to continue to be relevant in the future.

The bishops' conference in Germany had released a report on September 25 where it writes that approximately 3,677 people, where over 50 percent are 13 or below and almost 75 percent are altar boys, were abused by the Catholic church clergy in the intervening years from 1946 to 2014. The report was brought together by university researchers. Shockingly, it was discovered during the work that a number of files were destroyed or tampered with. Multiple cases evaded justice, with the abusers simply shifted to the many other dioceses. The congregations at these new dioceses were not informed about the perpetrator's past.

The pope's personal handling of such situations was also under scrutiny. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican Ambassador to the United States, has alleged during the early days of September that Pope Francis actively hid allegations of sex abuse leveled against Theodore McCarrick, an American Cardinal. Conservatives in the Vatican Church have even asked the pope to resign. The whiff of the first priest abuse scandal was found in Ireland during the 1990s. The effect was a global one, shocking the devout all over the world. According to Justice Minister Katarina Barley, the report is most likely “only the tip of the iceberg."

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