Pope Francis denounces culture of abuse and coverup in the Catholic Church

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The Guardian reports that through comments made in a pastoral letter to the Chilean faithful on the eve of another weekend he will spend listening to victims of Chile’s ‘most notorious predator pries’, Pope Francis has become the first pope to publicly denounce a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in the Catholic church.

In his pastoral letter, which was issued on the same day the Vatican announced that its top abuse investigators were on their way to Chile on a pastoral mission, he said that he was ashamed that neither he nor church leaders in Chile truly ever listened to victims of the country’s sexual abuse scandal.

“In the eight-page letter, Francis once again thanked victims for their “valiant perseverance” in denouncing abuse and searching for the truth “even against all hopes or attempts to discredit them”. He included himself among the guilty in failing to actually accompany victims, saying: “With shame I must say that we didn’t know how to listen or respond in time.” He spoke repeatedly of a “culture of abuse and a system of cover-up that allows it to perpetuate”.

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