The Pope finally signed into law steps that the Church leadership is required to take when sexual abuse happens to minors and vulnerable people.
The Apostolic Letter was signed on March 29th, 2019, two years after the largest sexual abuse scandal came to light in 2017, making the problem impossible for the Church to ignore.
The big question is why did it take the Pope so long to take action? More than 1,000 children in Pennsylvania alone were reported to be sexually abused by Bishops in the Catholic Church. However, over the last 50 years, it’s estimated that more than 10,000 children have been victimized by 4,000 priests.
Before the media reported on sex scandals and the abuse of Nuns in the church, there were always rumors of forced abortions and sexual misconduct on the part of men in authority against Nuns.
Action on the part of the Church has become necessary but disappointing to those who think the Church is in dire need of reform.
In February 2018, when the Pope called for 100 Bishops to come together to report findings and to reveal the depth of sexual abuse within the church, no such meeting had ever taken place before.
Yet, it was called a time of prayer and education vs. time of action, disappointing Catholics who have come to terms that working with law officials are more likely to reap the results survivors and advocates against sexual abuse seek. I’m disappointed in the action that the Church has taken, only because it seems reactive rather than proactive.