Cardinal Hummes: ‘Above all we are on the side of the victims’
April 16, 2010
Cardinal Cláudio Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for Clergy, unequivocally condemned clerical sexual abuse in an April 12 letter marking the impending conclusion of the Year for Priests.
“It is true that, albeit proportionately small in number, some priests have committed horrible and most serious crimes of sexual abuse upon minors, deeds that we must condemn and rebuke in an absolute and uncompromising manner,” he writes. “Those individuals must answer for their actions before God and before tribunals, including the civil courts. Nevertheless, we also pray that they might achieve spiritual conversion and receive pardon from God.”
“The Church, for her part, is determined neither to hide nor to minimize such crimes,” he continued. “Above all we are on the side of the victims and want to support their recovery and their offended rights.”
“On the other hand, it is absolutely unacceptable to use the crimes of the few in order to sully the entire ecclesial body of priests,” he added. “Those who do so commit a profound injustice.”