Locals React To Pope’s Meeting With Sex Assault Victims

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SCRANTON -- In an historic move, Pope Francis met with six victims of clerical sexual abuse in Vatican City on Monday. He led them in a private mass, condemned sex abuse in the church and offered an apology.

"I beg your forgiveness, also, for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves," he said.

People in northeastern and central Pennsylvania, Catholic or not, said they, too appreciate what the Pope has done.

"For him to apologize, I'm a fan of it. It's good for the world, good for the Catholics, good for everybody," said Pat Touhey of Dallas.

The local Catholic diocese has seen scandal.

Last month, suspended priest Rev. William Paulish of the Scranton Diocese was sentenced to eight to 23 months in prison. He admitted to meeting a 15-year-old boy for a sexual encounter.

Earlier this year, Rev. Philip Altavilla of the Scranton Diocese was charged with indecent assault, accused of fondling a teenager 15 years ago. He faces trial.

"It's an important issue and I don't think things like that should be swept under the rug, I think you need to get it out there to inform everyone," said Caitlin Liberatore, a University of Scranton student.

The Pope has also promised a crackdown on church leaders who fail to protect children.

"I think that it's something that's really good to acknowledge, that there's progress being made and the victims are being recognized and everyone has apologized," said Coleen Joyce, also a University of Scranton student.

"I'm not a religious person, but as far as this Pope, I'm a fan, really. Everything he's doing from washing the feet of women to addressing gay marriage as a non-confrontational topic. This is just a step in the right direction," said Touhey.


  • Me

    “…did not respond adequately…”

    And what about your inadequate response? Why is Ratzinger not handed over to ANY of the developed world governments under which these crimes occurred for his criminal negligence and inaction?

    There is no forgiveness for this without ACTUAL penance. These evil acts DEMAND prosecution. The modern world owes these thugs no less than its unending scorn. There is no acknowledgement of progress until then, apologies don’t cut it when it comes to CHILD RAPE!!!

  • spookchristian

    Mr popey Jesuit,, did not respond adequately either.. the hypocrite…he is in charge of romanism,, and he could have got every catholic so called priest arrested for what they have done,, but instead, badoglio has done everything to avoid giving evidence of child abuse to the police…even inventing laws to do so..

    I think papists need to realise that the vatican could not care less..
    more recently, i found out, that nuns had thrown 800 babies into a septic tank…



  • I

    Watch this about the local diocese and how they covered up. Why have they not been held accountable?

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