The Pope has finally delivered his much-awaited apology for sexual crimes committed by Australian Catholic clergy saying those responsible should be “hunted down” and brought to justice.
The issue has overshadowed Benedict XVI’s first visit down under with the Church reopening a 25-year-old abuse case only days before his arrival. The pontiff said abuse by clergy had damaged the Church. “I am deeply sorry for the pain and the suffering the victims have endured, and I assure them that as a pastor, I too share in their suffering,” he said.
But talk is cheap say many abuse victims who want the Church to set up an open and accountable system for investigating allegations. “I appreciate what he has to say. I accept what he has to say. It is very traumatic and it didn’t just happen 40 years ago in my case. It happens and I relive it day after day. And victims relive their trauma day after day and they need constant care with dignity. And the church has never provided care with dignity,” complained one victim.
Meanwhile, a massive security operation remains in place across Sydney as thousands of pilgrims and protestors continue to gather for a World Youth Day march though the city on Sunday.