Doubts about the Vatican Meeting on Sexual Abuse

New York Times
September 19, 2018

The pope’s summons to the bishops to gather was part of a flurry of activity around the church’s sexual abuse crisis.

After nearly 30 years of observing how Catholic authorities deal with abuse cases, I was disappointed to read that in response to the latest revelations and outcries, yet another meeting of prelates has been scheduled. But I was heartbroken when you reported that bishops “will be taught to listen to victims” at the gathering in February.

What kind of men are these princes of the church if their Vatican supervisors admit that they must learn how to hear the most wounded in their flock?

David G. Clohessy

St. Louis

The writer is the former director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

To the Editor:

What can Pope Francis possibly hope to accomplish by calling a meeting of bishops to address sexual abuse within the church? Clearly the evidence demonstrates that sexual abuse of children, and its subsequent cover-up, is endemic in the organization of the Catholic Church, including its hierarchy.

How can the pope expect the very clergymen who are responsible for overseeing the pernicious acts against the most defenseless of victims to address the issue? Some, if not many, may very well have been involved in the cover-up or even in the acts themselves.

What is needed is an impartial third-party objective investigation. The pope is simply engaging in an exercise in futility.

Ken Lefkowitz

Medford, N.J.








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