Tomorrow face to face in the Vatican Apostolic Palace. The President will again invite the Pontiff to a visit beyond the Alps. Confessional secret, Father Zollner: confessors push abusers to self-report
VATICAN CITY. While the storm-pedophilia rages in the French Sacred Rooms after the report from which 330,000 abused persons emerged in 70 years, Pope Francis receives President Emmanuel Macron. Tomorrow morning the Pontiff will welcome the President of the Republic of France, who is expected around 11 in the Apostolic Palace, in audience in the Vatican.
And Macron, who will go to Oltretevere after the signing of the Quirinal Treaty, “will also address the story of the Sauvé Commission with the Holy Father”, the report that revealed the crimes of pedophilia in the French Church. Sources of the Elysée make it known.
216,000 minors have been raped in the transalpine Church from 1950 to today, according to the investigation of the Ciase (Commission on sexual abuse in the Church, which worked for two and a half years) commissioned by the French bishops themselves. Pedophile priests were between 2,900 and 3,200. And the number of abused rises to “330,000 if the lay aggressors who work in ecclesiastical institutions” are added, such as sacristans, teachers in Catholic schools, leaders of youth movements.
Macron received “the important words of the Pope after the publication of that report – ensure the sources beyond the Alps – when he spoke of immense pain and shame”. The audience with the Bishop of Rome was requested by Macron as part of the “frequent contacts” that the French presidency intends to have with the Vatican. Among other things, the two leaders “regularly exchange phone calls, the last one in March of this year”, unveiling in the Sacred Palaces.
The Elysée recalled that Macron had been received by the Pope in 2018 and that Prime Minister Jean Castex was in the Vatican on 18 October. He also made it known that among the topics to be discussed in the conversation with Bergoglio will include “biodiversity, solidarity with developing countries and the debt of African countries. On international issues, moreover, President Macron is interested in knowing the Pope’s opinion on issues such as South America, in particular the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua ». During the meeting, “Macron will renew the invitation to the Pontiff to go on a pastoral visit to France”.
To further inflame the spirits in recent weeks in France there was also the question and answer between the local Church and the government on the secret of confession. The current administration of President Macron recalled that “nothing is stronger than the law of the Republic” after the president of the Bishops’ Conference, Monsignor Eric Moulins-Beaufort, declared that the secret of confession “is stronger than the laws of the Republic” , a few days after the publication of the report of the Commission chaired by Jean-Marc Sauvé. Nothing in «our country is stronger than the laws of the Republic. It is very clear, “warned the government spokesman, Gabriel Attal, specifying that Macron has asked the Minister of the Interior in charge of the Cults, Gérald Darmanin, to obtain clarifications from the head of the bishops and Archbishop of Reims. Interviewed by radio France Info, the high prelate affirmed, in particular, that “the secret of confession is imposed on us and will be imposed on everyone, in the sense that it is stronger than the laws of the Republic, as it opens up a space for word, free, which is done before God “. However, the Archbishop assured him that he wanted to look for an alternative to the lifting of this secret, which for a long time helped protect those religious stained with pedophile crimes: “We must find a way to do otherwise”, he explained, specifying that the Conference episcopal studies “very closely” the recommendations contained in the Sauvé report.
In any case, according to Moulins-Beaufort, the secrecy of confession “has always been respected by the French Republic” and is not “contrary to French criminal law”.
On the topic Father Hans Zollner, director of the Institute of Anthropology, recently spoke in La Stampa-Vatican Insider. Interdisciplinary studies on human dignity and the care of vulnerable people “of the Pontifical Gregorian University. Secrecy in confession is inviolable but confessors could play an active role against pedophilia if they pushed the perpetrators of these crimes to report themselves. This is the reasoning of one of the Church’s leading experts in the fight against pedophilia. Zollner believes that the Holy See could consider “the formulation of a new instruction for confessors, which reaffirms the obligations relating to compliance with the laws for reporting abuses outside the confessional and with them secrecy”. A crucial point is the personal responsibility of the confessor: “This includes inviting the perpetrator to stop the abuse, to report himself to the legal authorities and seek therapeutic help; but also that absolution for the sin of abuse cannot be given unless there is not only sincere contrition, but also the will to undo the damage done ». The instruction should also clarify “that in the event that a victim reports having been abused, the confessor should listen with empathy and respect. The priest can then offer a meeting outside the confessional space and encourage the victim to contact therapists and lawyers ”.
#Pope #receives #Macron #background #pedophile #storm #Church #France