Pope reminds bishops of zero tolerance for clergy abuse in 2017 letter, but cover-ups continued in 2016

Pope tells bishops to have zero tolerance for sexual abuse
“Pope Francis has told bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children and begged forgiveness for ‘a sin that shames us.’ In a letter sent on Dec. 28 but released by the Vatican only on Monday (Jan. 2), Francis said: ‘I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst.’ Since his election in 2013, Francis has taken some steps to root out sexual abuse in the Church and to put in place practices to protect children. But victims’ groups say he has not done enough, particularly to hold to account bishops who tolerated sexual abuse or covered it up.” By Philip Pullella, Reuters, Jan. 2, 2017

Top 10 of 2016 – No. 1: Report alleged diocese covered up sex abuse
“The Tribune-Democrat is counting down the top stories of 2016, as determined by the newsroom staff who covered them. One story appeared each day in print and e-editions through the end of the year. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona–Johnstown allegedly covered up the sexual abuse of children for decades. Victims were violated by at least 50 priests and other religious leaders, while the church, led by former Bishops James Hogan and Joseph Adamec, reportedly took steps to protect the accused from facing justice, according to a grand jury report released by the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General in March. The report, culled from ‘secret archives’ and interviews, rocked the diocese and local Catholic community.” By Dave Sutor, Tribune-Democrat, Dec. 31, 2016

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