The victims of the Catholic church also see the pope’s eyewash as self-serving and beside the point – and above all as a gross evasion of accountability.
Marie Collins, who was abused in 1960 by a priest when she was a patient at Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children…pointed out the statement “doesn’t deal with the past. No one has taken responsibility for what went on in Dublin. There is no accountability.”…Andrew Madden, who was abused by Ivan Payne when he was an altar boy in Dublin’s Cabra parish…[said it was] “self-serving nonsense”…and he for one, as a survivor, hadn’t asked for prayers. “And they say they listen to survivors?” The statement was “an attempt to deflect attention away from accountability”.
That’s certainly how it looks to me. There is something more than a little sickening about the head of an organization responding to a report of that organization’s long-term systematic protection of abusive employees by making a big fuss about his own emotions while completely failing, not to say refusing, to take any real responsibility. It’s as if the pope thinks that all he has to do is make a display of his own appropriate feelings when really his feelings are entirely beside the point; what is wanted is accountability, and the feelings of one guy are no good as a substitute.
Both he and Ms Collins said what was necessary now was for the five sitting bishops named in the Murphy report to resign. “All bishops in place over the period investigated by the commission should step down,” said Ms Collins. “They are collectively responsible for what went on in the diocese. It all happened on their watch. They must take responsibility.”…Andrew Madden dismissed the pope’s intention of writing a pastoral letter to the Irish people with a “big deal!” comment. He too felt the five serving bishops named in the Murphy report must resign. They had been “responsible for covering up for paedophiles,” he said, and should “go, go, go”.
See? Emoting is no good, showy apologizing is no good, talk of prayers and pastoral letters is no good. They have to take responsibility – and, remarkably, they’re not doing it.
One in Four chief executive Maeve Lewis said she was “deeply disappointed” at the pope’s statement. “His reaction is wholly inadequate…We had hoped that the pope might apologise for the culture of secrecy and cover-up by Catholic Church authorities documented by the report and that he might accept responsibility for his role in the creation of that culture,” she said. His response echoed “that of the Irish bishops in attempting to focus blame for the destruction of countless lives on individual sex-offending priests rather than accepting accountability for the role of the Catholic Church authorities in recklessly endangering children,” she said.
It’s not just a few individual bad apples, it’s the institution. It will be a chilly day in hell before the pontiff admits that.