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Pope defensive on sex abuse as commission lags

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis is coming under increasing criticism that he simply doesn't get it on sexual abuse.

Three months after the Vatican announced a commission of experts to study best practices on protecting children, no action has been taken, no members have been appointed, and no statute outlining the commission's scope has been approved.

Francis hasn't met with any victims, hasn't moved to oust a bishop convicted in 2012 of failing to report a suspected abuser, and on Wednesday insisted that the church had been unfairly attacked on abuse.

Victims' advocates said his tone was archaic and urged Francis to show the same compassion he offers to the sick, the poor and the disabled to people who were raped by priests.

"Under Pope Francis, the Vatican continues to deny its role in creating and maintaining a culture where upholding the reputation of the church is prioritized over the safety of children," said Maeve Lewis, executive director of the Irish victims' support group One in Four.

The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Wednesday there was no doubt the commission would get off the ground.

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Wednesday. In an interview, the pope said he finds the hype surrounding him “offensive.” 

Associated Press

Pope Francis arrives for his weekly general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on Wednesday. In an interview, the pope said he finds the hype surrounding him “offensive.” 

New poll looks at the 'Francis effect'

One year into the era of Pope Francis, a new poll has found that a broad majority of American Catholics say he represents a major change in direction for the church — and a change for the better. But his popularity has not inspired more Americans to attend Mass, go to confession or identify as Catholic — a finding that suggests that so far, the much-vaunted "Francis effect" is influencing attitudes but not behavior.

New York Times

Pope defensive on sex abuse as commission lags 03/05/14 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 11:13pm]

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