"Of course, I know that there are many abused people who cannot bring proof (or) they don't have it," he told reporters on the papal flight from Peru to Rome Jan. 22. "Or at times they have it, but they are ashamed and cover it up and suffer in silence. The tragedy of the abused is tremendous," he said.
Noting Pope Francis apologized and "asked forgiveness for inflicting an unintended wound," Boehk wrote that the pope has "admitted to having failed the expectations of abuse survivors."
"As hard as it is to acknowledge, it seems inevitable that those from whom we expect more will sometimes fail us," she wrote. "Our leaders are flawed; so are we. We are tempted to protect our own interests, to close our eyes and ears to suffering. We fail to take action; we are slow to take responsibility."
Seeing "multiple disappointments" in the church — "hurting words, poor decisions, stonewalled appointments, obstructed efforts, inadequate policies, outdated models of formation — we may be tempted to despair, to believe that as a church we don't really get it," Boehk said. "In the face of disheartening news, how can we move forward? How can we work for institutional change?"