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CDF official addresses international conference on child abuse

November 04, 2011

Recognizing that children are a gift from God is “the true basis of prevention of child abuse,” the promoter of justice of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said at an international forum on child abuse.

“The Catholic Church knows well that whenever one of its ministers, whether bishop, priest or deacon, or lay pastoral agent, sexually abuses a minor, a tragic wound is inflicted on the community, subordinated at it is by the indescribably repugnant damage done to the child,” said Msgr. Charles Scicluna. “Such conduct is reproachable on various counts.”

He added:

Most importantly, it inflicts untold damage to the normal sexual development, self-esteem and human dignity of the minor concerned; it is cause of scandal to Christians and non-Christians alike, a stumbling-block on many a pilgrim’s progress in faith; it invariably constitutes an abuse and a betrayal of the sacred trust which the people of God rightly have of their shepherds; it damages the credibility of the Church and taints the beauty of Her testimony to the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life; it discredits the ministerial priesthood and puts countless innocent clerics and pastoral agents under the shadow of delinquency, crime and misdemeanor.


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