PAPAL CONDEMNATION

In a rare letter, Pope Francis broke his silence on the sex scandal that is plaguing the Catholic Church, saying the Church abandoned its most vulnerable.

Aired on August 20, 2018.

TRANSCRIPT

> IN A RARE LETTER TO ROMAN CATHOLICS AROUND THE WORLD TODAY, POPE FRANCIS CONDEMNED THE ATROCITIES OF SEX ABUSE AND ITS COVER-UP.

THE POPE ASKED HIS FLOCK TO QUOTE JOIN FORCES IN UPROOTING THIS CULTURE OF DEATH.

THE CHURCH ITSELF THE PONTIFF SAID, WOULD SPARE NO EFFORT TO INSURE SUCH SITUATIONS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN AND THE CHURCH HAD FALLEN SHORT TO ITS RESPONSIBILITIES TO CHILDREN AND TO THE FAITHFUL.

THE POPE SAID, QUOTE, THE CHURCH DID NOT ACT IN A TIMELY MANNER, REALIZING THE MAGNITUDE AND GRAVITY OF THE DAMAGE DONE TO SO MANY LIVES.

WE SHOWED NO CARE FOR THE LITTLE ONES.

WE ABANDONED THEM.

THERE ARE ALMOST 1 MILLION CATHOLICS AROUND THE GLOBE AND 7.3 IN NEW YORK STATE.

THE QUESTION IS, WHAT WILL THIS MEAN FOR THE FAITHFUL?

JOINING ME IS FATHER SAMSAUR, EXECUTIVE EDITOR OF AMERICAN MEDIA.

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.

THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

SAM SAWYER.

I HAD A CHANCE TO READ THE ARTICLE YOU PUBLISHES.

THIS WAS CLOSE TO HOME FOR YOU.

YES.

I GREW UP IN THE DIOCESE OF SCRANTON, THAT WAS COVERED IN THE GRAND JURY REPORT LAST WEEK.

ONE OF THE PRIESTS NAMED IN THERE, NOT ONE WITH DETAILED NARRATIVE, ONE OF THE FIRST ON THE LIST HAD HIS FIRST ASSIGNMENT AT MY CHILDHOOD PARISH AND I REMEMBERED MEETING HIM.

YOU DID -- IT WAS MORE OF A MEETING.

YOU DID MAKE IT CLEAR YOU DIDN'T REALLY OVERLAP?

I THINK I WAS 10 WHEN HE WAS THERE.

YES.

I KNEW HIM AS OUR PARISH PRIEST.

THERE WASN'T ABUSE ALLEGED.

ONE OF THE THINGS I SAW IN THE REPORT AND STRUCK HOME TO ME AS A PRIEST MYSELF, HIS HISTORY OF ASSIGNMENTS WAS SHORT ASSIGNMENT, SHORT ASSIGNMENT, LEAVE OF ABSENCE, SHORT ASSIGNMENT, WHICH IS THE PATTERN WE KNOW FROM THIS ABUSE SCANDAL ACROSS THE PAST DECADE AND A HALF, THE PATTERN OF A PRIEST NOT DOING WELL OR HURTING PEOPLE AND BEING REMOVED AND PUT BACK.

I DON'T KNOW WHAT THE STORY IS PARTICULARLY WITH THIS GUY.

IT'S CLEAR THERE IS SOMETHING VERY BROKEN IN THE CHURCH IN THAT PATTERN OF I ASSIGNMENTS FOR HIM.

IT DID STRIKE HOME THIS HAD BEEN IN SOME WAY IN PROCESS IN MY CHURCH GROWING UP, AND THAT IT HAS AFFECTED PEOPLE I GREW UP WITH.

IT'S STILL AFFECTING PEOPLE BACK HOME IN THE DIOCESE OF SCRANTON TODAY.

I WANT TO GET YOUR TAKE ON THE WAY POPE FRANCIS IS HANDLING THIS.

HE HAS BEEN LAUDED BY MANY FOR HANDLING A LOT OF DIFFERENT SITUATIONS IN A DIFFERENT MANNER WE'VE SEEN PREVIOUS POPES TO DO.

DID HE WAIT TOO LONG OR IS IT THE RIGHT RESPONSE?

I THINK IT IS MOVING IN THE DIRECTION OF THE RIGHT RESPONSE.

IN OUR CONTEMPORARY MEDIA CULTURE WE LIKE TO SEE A RESPONSE FASTER.

IT FELT LIKE WE WERE WAITING FOR SOME RESPONSE TO THE GRAND JURY REPORT AFTER IT WAS RELEASED.

AS THE CHURCH MOVES AND THE VATICAN MOVES, HAVING SOMETHING WITHIN THE WEEK IS VERY FAST INDEED.

WE ARE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION OF THE RESPONSE.

I THINK WHAT POPE FRANCIS'S LETTER RELEASED THIS MORNING IS PROVIDED CLERICALISM, THE SENSE OF PRIVILEGE ON THE PART OF PRIESTS AND BISHOPS AND STRUCTURES IN THE CHURCH THAT ALLOW THEM TO FOCUS ON MAINTAINING THEIR STATUS AS ONE OF THE ROOT CAUSES IF THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE COVER-UP PART OF THIS ABUSE SCANDAL.

I THINK THAT'S NEW AND THAT'S IMPORTANT.

THAT DOES SEEM TO BE ONE OF THE THINGS, AT LEAST FROM MY READING OF REACTION TO THE SCANDAL HAS SO MANY PEOPLE UPSET.

NOT JUST THE VICTIMS NOT BELIEVED, BUT WHO WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

EXACTLY.

WHEN THE FIRST ABUSE -- WHEN THE FIRST WAVE OF THE ABUSE SCANDAL BROKE IN BOSTON IN 2002, WE AT THAT POINT HEARD A LOT ABOUT THESE PATTERNS OF ABUSE IN THE CHURCH.

THE GRAND JURY REPORT IN PENNSYLVANIA, IN FACT, THE VAST MAJORITY OF THOSE CASES ARE OLDER THAN 2002.

IN SOME SINCE, YOU KNOW, THE INITIAL SET OF REFORMS HAS ALREADY GRAPPLED WITH A LOT OF WHAT WENT WRONG IN THOSE CASES.

WHAT WASN'T DEALT WITH IN 2002, STILL HASN'T BEEN DEALT WITH YET, HOW DO WE HOLD ACCOUNTABLE THOSE IN POWER, THE BISHOPS AND PEOPLE GOVERNING THE CHURCH WHO FAILED TO TAKE CARE OF VICTIMS OF ABUSE THE FIRST TIME, FAILED TO LISTEN TO THEM, PROTECTED PRIESTS AND MOVED THEM AROUND FROM CHURCH TO CHURCH, THOSE PEOPLE HAVEN'T BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE.

THAT'S WHAT I THINK THE FOCUS IS ON NOW.

HOW ARE WE GOING TO HOLD THE CHURCH TO A HIGHER STANDARD THAN JUST WE DID THE MINIMUM REQUIRED.

DO YOU THINK THERE COULD EVER BE AN INVESTIGATION LIKE THE ONE WE SAW IN PENNSYLVANIA IN NEW YORK STATE?

I THINK IT'S LIKELY THERE WOULD BE.

I WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED AT ALL IF THE NEW YORK ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE IS STARTING SOMETHING LIKE THAT NOW OR ALREADY HAS SOMETHING IN PROGRESS.

MY FINAL QUESTION IS THAT YOU SPOKE SO PASSIONATELY IN YOUR PIECE ABOUT NEED TO CARE FOR VICTIMS.

IS THERE ANY CHANCE THAT IN AN ATTEMPT TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION, THAT THE CHURCH STEPS UP AND HELPS SOME OF THESE VICTIMS WITH THE LONG TERM SCARS THEY MIGHT BE DEALING WITH?

> HOPE WE DO.

I HOPE THE FIRST THING WE DO IS DON'T WAIT FOR A CIVIL INVESTIGATION AND ATTORNEYS GENERAL TO DRAG THIS OUT OF US BUT WE COME FORWARD WITH WHAT WE KNOW IN ADVANCE.

THE ARCHDIOCESE IN NEW YORK A COUPLE YEARS AGO, SET UP A SETTLEMENT FUND TO TRY TO HELP VICTIMS.

I THINK MORE THINGS IN THAT DIRECTION ARE NECESSARY TO HELP PROVIDE SOME MEASURE OF RESTITUTION, SOME HELP WITH COUNSELING AND WITH THE ONGOING COSTS THE VICTIMS BEAR, THE SURVIVORS BEAR FROM THEIR TRAUMA.

THE CHURCH ALREADY DOES QUITE A BIT OF THAT BUT IT'S SCATTERED AND I DON'T THINK IT'S AS WELL-KNOWN OR COMPREHENSIVE THAT IT NEEDS TO BE.

THANK YOU SAM SAWYER, WE WILL DEFINITELY BE FOLLOWING YOUR WORK AND HOPEFULLY THERE'S BETTER NEWS TO SPEAK TO YOU ABOUT.

LET'S HOPE AND PRAY.

THANK YOU.

Funders

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