Readers React: Pope Francis has encouraged the anti-abuse action one of his archbishops wants to delay
To the editor: Kudos for covering the mixed message from the Vatican, which wants to prevent sexual abuse by predator priests and bishops but delays action until all the bishops “throughout the world” can address the issue.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wanted to take care of their own backyard and address this urgent issue, but the Vatican advocated delay. It’s too bad that some archbishop from Rome felt “offended” because the church leaders in the U.S. wanted to create a commission of laypeople to review complaints against bishops.
This archbishop’s attitude is a reflection of what Pope Francis denounced last month as the “scourge of clericalism.” Francis stated that clericalism “arises from an elitist and exclusivist vision of vocation, that interprets the ministry received as a power to be exercised rather than as a free and generous service to be given.”
Now is the time for the Vatican to practice what it preaches by establishing a lay commission to review complaints against bishops, because a church that does not listen cannot be credible.
Tom Kaminski, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: You criticize the Vatican and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops for delaying action on abuse that you say is overdue. As a harsh critic of the church on these matters and others, I think the L.A. Times has failed to see that these problems are not exclusively American ones, but also world problems.
Pope Francis has called for a world bishops conference in three months to resolve this cancer within our holy church. This conference will consider the U.S. bishops’ proposal as well as opinions of bishops and laypeople around the world — as it should.
George Dufresne, La Habra
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