Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
Catholic World News

Pope downplays expectations for February summit during in-flight interview

January 28, 2019

“We have to deflate expectations” for the February summit meeting on sexual abuse, Pope Francis told journalists during an in-flight interview as he returned from his World Youth Day trip to Panama.

The Pontiff said that the Vatican meeting would be devoted to “giving a catechesis on this problem to the bishops’ conferences.” He cautioned that the meeting could not be expected to resolve the problem of sexual abuse of children, because that problem is present throughout society. However, he said, the Catholic Church could do more to fight the problem. “But first,” he said, “we need to become conscious of it, have the protocols, and go forward.” He said that some bishops’ conference still lack an adequate understanding of the problem.

Responding to other questions from reporters, the Pope:

• Declined to take a public stand against the Maduro government in Peru, which has been condemned as “illegitimate” by the country’s bishops. Pope Francis—who sent a personal representative to Maduro’s re-inauguration ceremonies—said that he supports “all the people of Venezuela.” He offered a glimpse at the reason behind his position, saying: “What scares me is the bloodshed.”

• Said that he strongly favors a continuation of the discipline of priestly celibacy. “I would rather give my life than to change the law on celibacy.” Nonetheless he said that the question merits discussion.

• Reaffirmed his strong opposition to abortion, and said that a priest who hears confessions gains a keen understanding of the tragedy involved in abortion.

• Suggested that sex education is a necessity, but it should not be “soaked in ideological colonization,” and that the child’s first education in sexuality should come from parents.


For all current news, visit our News home page.

Further information:
Sound Off! supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a current donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

  • Posted by: WRY - Jan. 31, 2019 5:30 PM ET USA

    How can they deflate expectations that are already zero?

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jan. 29, 2019 10:14 PM ET USA

    "What scares me is the bloodshed." What would scare me if I were Venezuelan is the one causing the bloodshed. How many millions have fled now because of the man and the minions behind the bloodshed? The bloodshed, on the other hand, would grieve me. It is a fait accompli. However, the one behind the bloodshed can cause it to occur again and again and again.

  • Posted by: Foundas - Jan. 29, 2019 12:16 PM ET USA

    This is the biggest ploy of all time. The Vatican wants you to look at the sexual abuse of children thereby negating and providing acceptance to sexual contact with young adults (>13 yrs.) and adults (women and seminarians). What happened to celibacy? The same thing happened in Dallas and everyone fell for it. This conference in Feb. is a joke! Cover up, lie, and protect the guilty.

  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - Jan. 28, 2019 6:20 PM ET USA

    Given Pope Francis' negative personal performance and the people he picked to organize February's meeting, it would be very naive to expect anything useful to come out of the meeting.