Mandag ble følgende pressemlding sendt ut Vatikanet – om pave Benedikts møte med fire personer som er blitt utsatt for seksuelle overgrep av prester i Australia:
As an expression of his ongoing pastoral concern for those who have been abused by members of the clergy, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI today celebrated Mass with a representative group of victims. He listened to their stories and offered them consolation. Assuring them of his spiritual closeness, he promised to continue to pray for them, their families and all victims. Through this paternal gesture, the Holy Father wished to demonstrate again his deep concern for all those who have suffered sexual abuse.
In a note accompanying the communique, Fr. Lombardi specifies that “the meeting took place at the celebration of Mass in the little chapel of Sydney’s Cathedral House, where the Pope has been staying over these days. The celebration began at 7 a.m. Four people were present, two men and two women, with their attendants and a priest responsible for pastoral care and accompaniment.
Concelebrating with the Holy Father were Cardinal George Pell, archbishop of Sydney, Archbishop Fernando Filoni, substitute of the Secretariat of State, and the Pope’s two private secretaries. At the end of the Mass, the guests had the chance to speak individually to the Pope, who addressed to them affectionate words of concern and comfort.
The meeting ended shortly before 8 a.m., everything took place in an atmosphere of respect, spirituality and intense emotion. As happened in the United States, the Pope wished to meet a number of victims as a concrete way of conveying sentiments he has previously expressed on various occasions concerning the drama of sexual abuse. In Australia, he wished to do so after the events of World Youth Day, because that was the specific reason for his trip”.
Damian Thompson skriver at overgrepene i Australia har vært svært alvorlige, og at paven også har tatt dem skikkelig på alvor (selv om Vårt Land mener at nyhetsmediene har fokusert upassende mye på dette): Pope Benedict XVI feels the most profound shame at the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy – and the Church’s shockingly inadequate response to these evil acts. His apology to the victims of abuse in Australia is no mere form of words. It signals his determination to “purify” the Church – not only of paedophile clergy, but also of bishops who cover up for them.
Thompson siterer også fra en rapport (fra 2001) som illustrerer hvor absolutt sjokkerende noen prester har oppført seg:
The stories from the ex-residents of Bindoon, Castledare, Clontarf, and Tardun [all in Western Australia] provide an account of systemic criminal sexual assault and predatory behaviour by a large number of the Brothers over a considerable period of time. Evidence was given of boys being abused in many ways for the sexual gratification of the Brothers, of boys being terrified in bed at night as Brothers stalked the dormitories to come and take children to their rooms, of boys as ‘pets’ of the Brothers being repeatedly sodomised, and of boys being pressured into bestial acts. … …
The most serious revelations from the document concerned the existence of ‘sex rings’ at Bindoon and Castledare. It is reported that in A Secret Report Dr Coldrey wrote:
What I mean by the term ‘sex underworld’ or ‘sex ring’ in the province is that monks doing the wrong thing with boys…are collaborating with one another in their activities. They know one another are acting against the rule and assist and cover for each other. In the orphanages they may have shared the same boys … Paedophile brothers would tell other brothers which boys were vulnerable – they would share information – if one boy complained to one brother about the sexual abuse of another brother, he would be silenced or intimidated – and it went on more or less as a conspiracy and this conspiracy has been detailed – it is very clear that these complaints went as far as the Archbishop’s office.