Sorry doesn’t cut it, Francis

Pope Francis has something to say about the Church’s pattern of sexual abuse: he’s sorry.

“I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests — quite a few in number, obviously not compared to the number of all the priests — to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children,” the Pope said in remarks quoted by Vatican Radio.


With a veritable army of fawning superfans thinking he’s the personification of liberal reform, Frankie’s bound to win major points with this one. But the actual victims of the Church’s vile ministrations seem less than impressed:

The U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said it may be the first time a pope has spoken of sanctioning “complicit bishops.”

“But that is all it is: talk,” said Barbara Dorris, SNAP’s outreach director.

“We beg the world’s Catholics: Be impressed by deeds, not words. Until the Pope takes decisive action that protects kids, be skeptical and vigilant.”

I quote George R.R. Martin: “words are wind.”

And wind is air. In this case, hot air.

Apologizing doesn’t un-rape thousands of suffering people. Apologizing doesn’t absolve those who shielded rapists from prosecution, or who failed to act when the moment demanded it of them. If you’re so fucking sorry, why do your bishops and archbishops still refuse to cooperate with legal authorities?

For all his ostensible pleasantness and grandfatherly charm, I, for one, am not taken in by this pope, and I’m not going to forgive the Church for lord knows how many years of sexual abuse just because he asked me to.

You want forgiveness, Frankie? Own up to what the Church did. Take responsibility. Hand the guilty and their accomplices over to authorities and make whatever reparations you can for the unimaginable suffering they engendered. If you’re unwilling or unable to see this through, you should probably shut the fuck up about child abuse.


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