Opinion: Pope’s apology on sex abuse still doesn’t cut it

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Pope Francis speaks during the feast-day Mass on a one-day trip to the Calabrian region of Italy on Saturday, June 21. The Pope spoke out against the Mafia's "adoration of evil and contempt for the common good," and declared that "mafiosi are excommunicated, not in communion with God.'

Image: Getty

After meeting Monday with six victims of sexual abuse by clergy members, Pope Francis apologized for the crimes committed against them and begged forgiveness “for the sins of omission on the part of church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse.”

Apologies are all well and good, but this one brings to mind two trite but true sayings: “Too little, too late” and “Actions speak louder than words.” Unfortunately, Francis has more to do so that future popes won’t have to keep saying “I’m sorry” for these crimes and the Catholic Church’s cover-up.

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Pope seeks decisive action against sex abuse

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Pope Francis, in one of his first substantive actions since his election three weeks ago, signals that local bishops’ conferences should step up to discipline priests, serve victims.

Pope Francis has called for strong, specific worldwide measures for the Roman Catholic Church to act “with determination” against clergy sex abuse — the scandal that has rocked the church for more than a decade.

It is one of the first actions on a major issue in Francis’ weeks-old papacy, one marked chiefly by attention to his humble, cut-the-pageantry style.

francis

Image: Franco Origlia, Getty Images

After he met Friday with the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, Bishop Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, the Vatican said in a statement: “The Holy Father recommended that the congregation continue the line sought by Benedict XVI, to act with determination in regard to cases of sexual abuse.”

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