Pope urges doctrinal office to act ‘decisively’ against sex abuse

By Catholic New World
Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vatican City (CNS) — Pope Francis reaffirmed the importance of responding decisively to the problem of the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy and called on the Vatican office dealing with suspected cases to continue carrying out its mandate.

During an April 5 meeting with Archbishop Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the pope discussed the office’s various responsibilities. However, he made a particular point of highlighting its work to counter clerical sexual abuse, telling Archbishop Muller he wanted the congregation to continue with the policies retired Pope Benedict XVI wanted and “to act decisively concerning cases of sexual abuse,” the Vatican said in a written statement released after the meeting.

The pope, the statement said, asked the congregation to continue: “promoting measures that protect minors, above all; help for those who have suffered such violence in the past; necessary procedures against those found guilty; (and) the commitment of bishops’ conferences in formulating and implementing the necessary directives in this area that is so important for the church’s witness and credibility.” The pope also assured victims that they had a special place in his heart and prayers.