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Author Topic: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry  (Read 837 times)

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Offline BrandonTopic starter

Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« on: September 18, 2010, 11:38:39 AM »
Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry

Quote
LONDON – Pope Benedict XVI has met with victims of priestly sexual abuse and prayed with them even as abuse survivors and thousands of people opposed to his visit marched in central London in the biggest protest of his five-year papacy.

Bill Kilgallon, chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission — a church group that organized the encounter — said five people met with the pontiff for about 30 or 40 minutes Saturday.

Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said the pontiff was "moved by what they had to say and expressed his deep sorrow and shame."

During a Mass in Westminster Cathedral, Benedict said he hoped the church's humiliation would help victims heal and help the church purify itself and renew its commitment to educating the young.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

LONDON (AP) — Pope Benedict XVI said Saturday he was ashamed of the "unspeakable" sexual abuse of children by priests, issuing an apology to the British faithful even as thousands of people opposed to his visit marched in central London in the biggest protest of his five-year papacy.

During a Mass in Westminster Cathedral, Benedict said he hoped the church's humiliation would help victims heal and help the church purify itself of the sins of its ministers and renew its commitment to educating the young.

His comments, which were in line with his previous statements on the topic, were directed at Britain's Catholic community in the seat of the English church, a sign that Benedict wanted to speak to the faithful about the humiliation they all felt as Catholics.

Hours later, abuse victims and demonstrators opposed to the pope's stance against homosexuality, abortion and using condoms to fight AIDS marched from Hyde Park to Downing Street to protest the pope's four-day state visit.

They carried banners reading: "The pope is wrong — put a condom on" and "Pope protects pedophile priests."

Organizers said they expected 10,000 people, and thousands were seen marching through London. Police declined to give a crowd estimate. Even a crowd of a few thousand would make it the largest protest against Benedict since his election in 2005.

Benedict was miles away at the Vatican's apostolic nunciature in Wimbledon, having lunch and resting. There were increasing indications, though, that he would meet with British abuse victims before the day's end.

The sex abuse scandal has clouded Benedict's state visit to this deeply secular nation with a centuries-old history of anti-Catholic sentiment. Polls have indicated widespread dissatisfaction in Britain with the way Benedict has handled the crisis, with Catholics nearly as critical of him as the rest of the population.

Anger over the scandal runs high in Britain in part because of the enormous scale of the abuse in neighboring Ireland, where government reports have detailed systematic abuse of children at church-run schools and cover-up by church

"I express my deep sorrow to the innocent victims of these unspeakable crimes, along with my hope that the power of Christ's grace, his sacrifice of reconciliation, will bring deep healing and peace to their lives," Benedict said.

He acknowledged the shame and humiliation all the faithful had suffered as a result of the scandal and said he hoped "this chastisement will contribute to the healing of the victims, the purification of the church and the renewal of her age-old commitment to the education and care of young people."

He asked the faithful to show concern for victims and solidarity with priests.

Among those in the cathedral were former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a recent convert to Catholicism, and his wife, Cherie.

Martin Brown, 34, who was in the crowd outside the cathedral, termed it "a good apology."

"He seemed to really mean it; he was genuinely sorry," Brown said. "It's good he mentioned it and it's good he didn't dwell on it for too long. He got it just about right."

Chris Daly, a spokesman for Scottish abuse victims, said the pope's words helped but that victims want to see action: an acknowledgment from church authorities of their failures and cover-up, and material support to help victims.

"There has to be an element of accountability here, and truth is a big issue here where the church has been complicit in a cover-up of the abuse," he said. "They haven't been open. They haven't been truthful. It's hardly Christlike to be complicit."

In Scotland, more than 500 people claiming to be victims of abuse had been represented in a court case but were blocked by a time limit on bringing an action.

On his way to Britain, Benedict acknowledged to reporters that the church had failed to act quickly or decisively enough to stop the abuse and prevent it from recurring. Victims groups have dismissed such comments as hollow, saying they want the church to turn over information about suspected pedophiles in its ranks and take action, not words, to make children safer.

"We don't need a pope who is sad about crimes. We need a pope who will prevent crimes," Peter Isely of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said in a statement after the pontiff's comments Saturday. "And his words prevent nothing."

Benedict went ahead with a busy day Saturday, his third in Britain, as six men arrested in an alleged terror attempt against him remained in police custody. Police staged a pre-dawn raid Friday on a garbage depot and arrested five street cleaners; a sixth person was arrested later in the day.

Police say they were detained under the Terrorism Act "on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism."

The Vatican has said the pope was informed of the arrests, was calm, and no changes to his itinerary were planned.

Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi seemed to downplay the seriousness of the threat Saturday, telling reporters that the pope's entourage was given the impression that the alleged plot was not a "major concern."

Benedict began his day by meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and opposition leader Harriet Harman. The pope offered his condolences to Cameron following the death of his father, Lombardi said. All three gave the pope gifts, including drawings given by Clegg's children.

After Mass, he issued a special greeting to young believers and the Welsh faithful — singled out because he won't be traveling to Wales during this visit, only England and Scotland.

He was scheduled to visit a home for the elderly before celebrating an evening prayer service in Hyde Park in preparation for Sunday's beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman, a 19th century convert from Anglicanism whom the pope wants to hold up as a model for the faithful.

On Friday, Benedict addressed Britain's political, financial and cultural elite in Westminster Hall, for centuries the seat of British political life. He demanded that religion have a voice in public policy and Christians in public roles be allowed to follow their consciences, lamenting that some even want to discourage Christmas celebrations.

Today, I get to share an article that I was kind of at odds with but at the same time had to take at face value as a step in the right direction. Any step in that direction is welcome from my point of view because an apology for our crimes should have been issued a long time ago, I'm glad my demand finally went through but now I'm waiting for the second part of that demand: Action to support the apology.

However, I still blame the local authorities to a point in pedophile priest cases because I don't know of a single case where extradition of a suspect or convict was sought (granted I haven't really gone looking for them either). Also I feel kind of pissed off with victim groups that want "material compensation" because to me its just extortion.

The part that really kind of blew my mind though was the idea that people were arrested for committing or planning to commit an act of terrorism against the church. I understand people are upset, some have a right to be and other are driven by hate developed through annoyance, misunderstanding, or through hypocrisy but an act of terrorism...really? People want to take it that far? I just don't know what to say to that

Offline Trieste

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Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2010, 12:22:50 PM »
Hooray, an apology.

The part that really kind of blew my mind though was the idea that people were arrested for committing or planning to commit an act of terrorism against the church. I understand people are upset, some have a right to be and other are driven by hate developed through annoyance, misunderstanding, or through hypocrisy but an act of terrorism...really? People want to take it that far? I just don't know what to say to that

This visit was about more than just the sexual abuse of children by priests. If you pay attention to the protest signs, they also mentioned condom use. It's stated in the article that people were protesting his stance on gays and abortion as well. These are topics that bring strong emotions. I'm not saying it's right that people were planning to firebomb the Pope or whatever, but it's hardly surprising. The pedophilia angle is just one of many. People are dying of AIDS left and right and the church says that condoms are evil? Uh, excuse me? And they base it on some sort of jacked-up phony theory about latex having holes in it large enough to let the HIV virus through? I won't even get started on the other two issues, since they are less clear cut and belong in their own threads. But the Pope's (and the Church's) contribution to the AIDS epidemic is utterly, completely inexcusable.

It's things like this that drive people toward extremism.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2010, 12:25:22 PM »
I think, right now, he's got a good speech writer. Till I see some actual moves by the Pope to address the issues he feels so sorry about. I mean, the church as repeatedly 'abhorred' the abuses but little if anything has actually been done aside from some truly EPIC ass-covering.  I mean all the Brits have to do is look across the Irish Sea to see a good example of that.

Offline BrandonTopic starter

Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2010, 12:39:50 PM »
*sighs* here we go again. I really wish people would keep past threads in mind that discussed these topics. Im looking at you this time Trieste. Earlier this year I proved (using the CDC's data) they were right with the HIV and condoms thing (before you jump on me realize that this is a point where he and I disagree I think they should be used but at the same time I think hes partially right in the sense that condoms arent the answer to the problem)

Callie's comment I find more interesting though. When something bad happens humans tend to dwell on it, thats why when you hear about an organization or really any group of people the bad stuff is the most likely remembered and brought up. Its just how our mind works. That said, the news rarely reports on good things. So assuming no good points get reported how will you know if 1 case comes up in the future?

Dont get me wrong, I want to see action too I just wonder if people are expecting to much when you consider the way news organizations work and how our own minds take in information

Offline Trieste

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Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2010, 01:06:07 PM »
*sighs* here we go again. I really wish people would keep past threads in mind that discussed these topics. Im looking at you this time Trieste. Earlier this year I proved (using the CDC's data) they were right with the HIV and condoms thing (before you jump on me realize that this is a point where he and I disagree I think they should be used but at the same time I think hes partially right in the sense that condoms arent the answer to the problem)

I'm sure you don't realize it, but your tone is patronizing and rude. I don't have time to read every single post you make, just as you don't have time to read every single one of mine. Restating things you've said before really does come with the territory; deal with it.

Additionally, you didn't prove or disprove anything unless you stepped into the lab and published your findings in a peer-reviewed journal. So sorry, but if you want to play with scientific research, then you'll need to pay attention to the rules of scientific research.

The Pope and the Church have opposed many things on the basis that it might 'promote promiscuity' (what's their stance on the HPV vaccine, hm?) or for other reasons that fit into their own morality. This is fine if the Church and the Pope would keep their noses out of the business of people who aren't Catholic. Since they cannot seem to do so, yes, people are going to react strongly.

And before you accuse me of anti-religious bigotry, I'll remind you that I'm speaking of the Church and of the Pope.

Like I said, hooray for an apology. It's a step in the right direction. But until and unless the Catholic Church becomes a force for positive social change regardless of what they think is politically acceptable, it's not enough. Saying "aw geez, my b" and praying with a bunch of people is a positive step, but they don't deserve a pat on the back, not yet. They have a long, long way to go before they do so.

Offline BrandonTopic starter

Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2010, 01:32:06 PM »
Im sorry, I get tired of repeating myself and arguing the same points over and over again with the same people. I was fairly sure you had participated in the previous thread that went over it but after reviewing it myself I was mistaken

Go review the thread for yourself if you like: http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=71175.0



Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2010, 03:11:10 PM »
Thing is though Brandon..the Catholic Church hasn't done much more than make 'we're sorry' noises.  I mean they made some some progress but the leadership has to know that they need to do as much reform and change as they did in the early 60s. Most of what they have done in the last two decades of this problem has been spin control and denial.

No offense, but it seems to me that the lay members have little if any effect on policy and reform. The simple fact that the Church managed to get nearly a century of abuse forgiven legally in Ireland with not one conviction. The tactic of shuffling suspects out of the area and into a new parish with no warning.

I wish the Pope would do something concrete, but I don't see any attempt to change decades of policy, cooperate with authorities to investigate charges. I mean there is a supposedly very good case against a parish priest in Northern Ireland who was involved with a bombing.

And that isn't even talking about the dozens of sex offenders in the UK and Ireland with ties to the Church. No wonder the Church is getting a lot of flack.

Honest reform, and open dialog with authorities would do a LOT more than speeches.

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Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2010, 03:27:12 PM »
Im sorry, I get tired of repeating myself and arguing the same points over and over again with the same people. I was fairly sure you had participated in the previous thread that went over it but after reviewing it myself I was mistaken

Go review the thread for yourself if you like: http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=71175.0

Normally I stay out of these boards, but I had to go read your 'proof' that condoms don't prevent HIV.  I think you are skipping over parts, as several times in the same article it states:

Quote
Overall, the preponderance of available epidemiologic studies have found that when used consistently and correctly, condoms are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV infection and reduce the risk of other STDs.

HIV infection is, by far, the most deadly STD, and considerably more scientific evidence exists regarding condom effectiveness for prevention of HIV infection than for other STDs. The body of research on the effectiveness of latex condoms in preventing sexual transmission of HIV is both comprehensive and conclusive. The ability of latex condoms to prevent transmission of HIV has been scientifically established in “real-life” studies of sexually active couples as well as in laboratory studies.

Laboratory studies have demonstrated that latex condoms provide an essentially impermeable barrier to particles the size of HIV.

Theoretical basis for protection. Latex condoms cover the penis and provide an effective barrier to exposure to secretions such as urethral and vaginal secretions, blocking the pathway of sexual transmission of HIV infection.

Epidemiologic studies that are conducted in real-life settings, where one partner is infected with HIV and the other partner is not, demonstrate that the consistent use of latex condoms provides a high degree of protection.

Where in there does it prove that condoms don't prevent the spread of AIDS/HIV?

Hell, even if it only prevents 90% of the spread of aids, isn't the good?  Isn't ANY reduction in the chances of catching or passing it good?

Offline Serephino

Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2010, 09:24:05 PM »
You mean it didn't take a century for them to apologize?  Color me shocked....  They only just got around to apologizing to the guy who said the earth wasn't flat centuries after they had him put to death, like that does anyone any good...

I agree with Trieste here.  An apology is good, but where is the real action?  Are those priests that molested them still priests?  If so, the Pope must not really be all that sorry.  I honestly see this as nothing but a PR attempt to do a little damage control; and a lame one at that.  He's been making all kinds of speeches in the past few years.  That's about all he does.     

Offline Revolverman

Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2010, 09:49:32 PM »
I thought the spread of AIDS in Africa was more from reusing hypodermic needles, rather then sexual contact?

Offline Noelle

Re: Pope meets with victims, tells UK he's sorry
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2010, 01:41:02 AM »
I'm with most others here. It's of the same effectiveness as people who want to "raise awareness". Okay, you've raised my awareness, now how does making a large group of people aware help the cause unless those people are also actually DOING something?

The Pope has the power to ease the suffering of an entire continent -- even the entire world. Instead, preventing a few millimeters of latex from touching your genitals has become more important than improving the lives of the sick and impoverished through practical, realistic means.

Certainly this is a start -- acknowledging a problem verbally and publicly is always a good beginning, but that's all it is. A beginning. Certainly it's better for him to have done this than to have said nothing at all...but wrongdoings don't magically disappear with words. It takes real, perceivable action before those words have any real merit.