Cardinal O’Malley Addresses Abuses in France

Statement of the President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors

Cardinal O’Malley France
Stop abusos © Pexels. Josie Stephens

Given the report on sexual abuses in France, in the name of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley expressed ”our profound sorrow” and requests “humbly the pardon of all those harmed by these reprehensible crimes and violations of human dignity,” stressing that “we are committed to the energetic defense of the rights of the survivors, and to education for the prevention of abuses, transparency, responsibility, and 0 tolerance.”

Cardinal O’Malley, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors issued a statement after the publication of the Final Report of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuses in the Catholic Church in France (CIASE).

“The Church in France has taken the first necessary steps to address the scourge of sexual abuses by commissioning this Report” and we must all adhere to Pope Francis’ directive: “there is absolutely no place in the ministry for those that abuse minors or vulnerable adults,” he continued.

This Report “is a new call of attention to the Church worldwide so that the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults is our maximum priority.” “This history of uncontrolled abuses that spans generations challenges our comprehension of how innocent persons have been able to suffer so terribly and their voices have been ignored for so long,” he added.

Cardinal O’Malley admitted that “we have a long way to go to address the abuses in our Church and in society in general. We won’t tire of addressing it.”

“Finally, and most important, our thoughts and prayers are with the survivors of sexual abuses. I profoundly lament all that the survivors have endured due to the destructive actions of some members of the Church,” reads the text.

Here is the full text of Cardinal O’Malley’s statement:

* * *

The Report commissioned by the Episcopal Conference of France is an accusation of the failures of leadership in the Church and of those responsible for the care and protection of the faithful.

This history of uncontrolled abuses that spans generations challenges our comprehension of how innocent persons have been able to suffer so terribly and their voices have been ignored for so long.

It is unquestionable that the leaders of the Church, working in collaboration with civil functionaries and the forces of order, must not fail in the commitment to seek healing and justice for the survivors. The broad measures outlined by leaders of the Church in France at the beginning of this year, which give concrete expression to how the “cruel indifference,” which the survivors experienced in the Church, can become care and protection, must be welcomed with satisfaction and incorporated at all levels of authority.

The Church in France has taken the first necessary steps to address the scourge of sexual abuses by commissioning this Report. We must all adhere to Pope Francis’ directive: “there is absolutely no place in the ministry for those that abuse minors or vulnerable adults.”

We cannot permit that a survivor not be recognized or that a person be in danger of being abused by members of the Church.

In the name of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, I express our profound sorrow and humbly request pardon from all those harmed by these reprehensible crimes and violations of human dignity. We are committed to the energetic defense of the rights of the survivors, and to education for the prevention of abuses, transparency, responsibility, and 0 tolerance. We still have a long way to go to address the abuses in our Church and in society in general. We will not tire of addressing it.

Finally, and most important, our thoughts and prayers are with the survivors of sexual abuse. I profoundly lament all that the survivors have endured due to the destructive action of some members of the Church.

This Report is a new call of attention to the Church worldwide so that the safeguarding and protection of children and vulnerable adults is our maximum priority.

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester