August 6, 2020
By Inés San Martín
Rosario, Argentina – Beyond the obvious reasons to fight clerical sexual abuse, above all the damage such abuse inflicts on victims, Pope Francis has added another argument: The effort to prevent abuse, he’s written, promotes a deeper acknowledgment that all life is sacred and deserves respect.
“Fighting abuse [means] fostering and empowering communities so that they are capable of keeping watch and announcing that all life deserves to be respected and valued, especially that of the most defenseless who do not have the resources to make their voice heard,” Francis wrote.
“We’ve been challenged to look squarely at this conflict, to take it up and suffer it together with the victims, their families and the whole community, to find ways that make us say: ‘Never again to the culture of abuse’,” he wrote. “This reality calls us to work in the awareness, prevention and promotion of a culture of care and protection in our communities and in society in general so that no person sees their integrity and dignity violated or mistreated.”
Pope Francis’s words came in a prologue for a new book edited by Father Daniel Portillo, a Mexican priest and founder of the Interdisciplinary Center of Investigation and Formation for the Protection of Minors from Mexico’s Catholic University (CEPROME).
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