Tue Feb 17, 2015 1:44AM
Victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Roman Catholic Priests have called on the Pope to permit civilian justice for clerical pedophiles and their benefactors.
On Monday, victims from across the Americas issued an open letter to the pontiff telling him that “words are not enough.”
The letter referred to Pope Francis’s recent rapprochement of church related child abuse as “ambiguous and contradictory” because they do not result in any manner of “institutional process toward truth and justice.”
It also said that only Church reforms and civilian trials could halt the “great holocaust of thousands of boys and girls who were sacrificed to avoid scandal and salvage the image and prestige of the Catholic Church’s representatives in the world.”
Since his election in 2013, the Pope has adopted a “zero tolerance” policy against sexual abusive priests.
“Words and certain actions aren’t enough — even less when they are ambiguous and contradictory — because they not only don’t signify zero tolerance for clerical pedophilia, but only aggravate the harm done to the victims and do not build an institutional path to truth and justice,” read a part of the victims’ letter.
The letter, which was made public during a press conference in Mexico, was composed by victims from the US, Argentina, Chile and other nations.
Former Mexican priest Alberto Athie, who was present at the conference, said the Pope should establish “levels of responsibility” in the Church establishment in relation to the abusers and those who cover up for them.
“The church believes it is not accountable to anyone, but it has to learn that it must submit to civil authority,” he added.
Over the past few years, the Roman Catholic Church has been facing numerous scandals of child sexual abuse by priests, all over the globe.