Pope excommunicates pedophile Argentine priest [Perhaps he was just dismissed from the clerical state? On the Diocesan site we read: El Obispado de San Isidro comunica que el Santo Padre ha decretado la dimisión del Pbro. José Mercau del estado clerical. Por este decreto ha perdido automáticamente los derechos propios del estado clerical, quedando privado de todo el ejercicio del Ministerio sacerdotal.]
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Pope Francis has excommunicated a pedophile Argentine priest, a move applauded by advocates for victims of clerical abuse. [Was he also excommunicated?]
The pope’s decision was made public Wednesday by the bishopric [Diocese] of San Isidro on the outskirts of the Argentine capital.
Many welcomed the news, but victims and advocates of clergy sex abuse said the Roman Catholic Church still needs to be more determined, effective and severe when it comes to punishing such crimes in Argentina. [I don’t think that an auto-da-fé is an option anymore, except perhaps for those who insist on defending the Church’s tradition and doctrine. Really. What more can the Church do but perhaps impose excommunication? The Church can’t imprison anyone.]
“The church still has a long way to go,” said Sebastian Cuattromo, director of an advocacy group called Adults for the Rights of Infancy.
The policies of Pope Francis “are being carried out because of the long fight by the victims,” said Cuattromo, who was sexually abused by a priest in Buenos Aires at age 13. [NB: No credit to Pope Francis. It’s the victims who made it happen. However, the norms seem to be those of Benedict XVI.]
His advocacy group includes several adults who were abused by clergy when they were underage and who now try to raise awareness and protect children from predator priests. Cuattromo made his case public in 2012 after the priest who abused him was sentenced to 13 years in prison. “I’ve felt abandoned by the church,” he said.
Abuse victims and their advocates have long demanded that higher-ups be made to answer for the decades-long cover-ups of rape and molestation of youngsters in a scandal that has rocked the church and dismayed its worldwide flock of 1.2 billion.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis begged forgiveness in his first meeting with Catholics sexually abused by members of the clergy and went further than any of his predecessors by promising [went further?] to hold bishops accountable for their handling of pedophile priests.
The decision to punish Mercau “has taken way too long,” said Patricia Gordon, a psychologist for EnRed, a group that focuses on victims of violence and sex abuse. “But it’s still important because of the reparation to the victims, meaning that their words are taken as the truth.” [It’s reparation that means “we believe you”, and not the public words “we believe you”?]
Both Cuattromo and Gordon still criticized the Vatican for failing to excommunicate Julio Cesar Grassi, a pedophile priest who was sentenced to 15 years in jail in 2009.
I am glad that these ******** are being dismissed from the clerical state and maybe also excommunicated, though it seems that the news report got that wrong. Big surprise there. At the same time, we know that, no matter what the Church does, some will never be satisfied. Sad.