Pope Francis said today in a speech that "the Church will never again conceal or underestimate" the cases of sexual abuse of minors by the clergy and that "it will not tire of taking the abusers to justice." In this speech before the Curia for the traditional greeting of the Christmas holidays, in which the Pope usually makes a review of the year, he acknowledged that "in a turbulent world, the boat of the Church has lived and lives moments of difficulty and is onslaught for storms and hurricanes. "
This time he spoke harshly of the crimes of abuse by the clergy, which he described as those who "often, behind his great kindness, his impeccable work and his angelic face, blatantly hide an atrocious wolf ready to devour the innocent souls. "
In response, the pope promised that "the Church will not tire of doing everything necessary to bring to justice anyone who has committed such crimes."
Francisco, who has announced since the beginning of his pontificate zero tolerance against the abuse of minors by the clergy, but who has also been criticized for not having taken concrete actions, added that "the Church will never try to conceal or underestimate any case."
Today, in Spain there is no serious or in-depth investigation into the extent of the abuses. While the religious congregations are united to investigate all the denunciations, the Episcopal Conference will only do it if the Pope orders it, according to have indicated recently sources of the organ of government of the Spanish bishops.
In Rome, the pope launched on Friday a direct message to all those who abuse children: "Convert and surrender to human justice, and prepare yourselves for divine justice." Before the highest hierarchy of the Catholic Church, recognized that in the past, "by lightness, disbelief, lack of preparation, inexperience or spiritual and human superficiality, have treated many cases without due seriousness and speed." "It must never happen again, this is the choice and decision of the whole Church," he said.
Francisco denounced that "consecrated men, who abuse the weak, using their moral power and persuasion" commit these "abominations" and "continue to exercise their ministry as if nothing had happened, they fear neither God nor their judgment, only they fear being discovered and unmasked. "
The Argentine pontiff recalled that at the meeting to be held in February in the Vatican with the episcopal conferences around the world "will seek to transform the mistakes made in opportunities to eradicate this scourge, not only the body of the Church, but also the society".
He also criticized those within the Church "against certain agents of communication, accusing them of ignoring the vast majority of cases of abuse, which are not committed by ministers of the Church, and want to intentionally give an image false, as if this evil hit only the Catholic Church. "
And he thanked all the media that "they have been honest and objective and they have tried to unmask these wolves and give voice to the victims". "Even if it were only a case of abuse – which is already a monstrosity in itself – the Church asks that silence not be kept and come to light objectively, because the biggest scandal in this matter is to cover up the truth" , He said.
In addition to the cases of abuse, Francisco wanted to remember that in the Church there is also "betrayal" and that often behind is economic interest.
He spoke of those who sow "division and bewilderment, people who always find justifications, even logical and spiritual, to continue to walk unimpeded the path of perdition."
Since he began his pontificate, Francisco has had opposition from the most conservative wing of the Church and a few months ago the excommunication of Washington Carlo Maria Vigano wrote a manifesto of accusations against the pope in which he asked his resignation for having hidden that he knew of the abuses of American Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
"In reality, the thirty silver coins are almost always behind these sowers of weeds," said Francisco when referring to Judas the Iscariot, "another chosen by the Lord who sells and delivers his master to death." Francisco concluded by showing "the certainty that the Church will come out of these tribulations even more beautiful, purified and splendid, because all the sins, the falls and the evil committed by some children of the Church can never obscure the beauty of her face."