Vatican | Oct. 18, 2018
Pope Tells Seminarians to Report Abuse ‘Immediately’
Francis met with a group of Italian seminarians in the Vatican’s St. Clementine Hall Oct. 13.
VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis told a group of Italian seminarians to report immediately to their bishop if they ever see or suspect any kind abuse, sexual or otherwise, on the part of a priest.
“On this point, speak clearly,” the Pope told the students from Lombardy last weekend.
“If you see something like [abuse], [go] immediately to the bishop, to help that abusive brother — immediately to the bishop.”
The Pope met the group in the Vatican’s St. Clementine Hall Oct. 13. The text of the lengthy question-and-answer session was released by the Vatican Oct. 16. During the meeting, he answered a question about scandals in the Church and how to help Catholics to not lose hope despite the “poverty of its ministers.”
“Scandal wounds. We must be clear: On this point, do not yield. To scandals, no. Especially when the scandals hurt little ones,” he said, emphasizing that though statistics show abuse by priests or other clerics to be a small percentage of total cases in society, it is not a reason to ignore the issue.
“No. Because even if it was just one priest, this is a monstrosity,” he underlined.
Pope Francis also spoke about other “scandals” brought about by the public sins of priests, condemning worldliness in particular, and giving the example of a priest who is polite and well-liked but never seen praying, going to the hospital to visit the sick or performing works of mercy.
For a priest to scandalize the People of God “is very bad,” he said.