VATICAN CITY – Bothered by the barrage of allegations of sex abuse by Catholic priests in a lot of countries, Pope Francis, in an unprecedented manner wrote an epistle to all Catholic faithfuls asking each member to help eliminate what he described as “this culture of death”.
In his epistle to “the people of God”, Pope Francis also promised to do everything possible to prevent sex abuse in the Church and its cover up.
He said, “We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death”.
The letter also responded to a recent grand jury report in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania. He said that while most cases in the report “belong to the past,” it was clear that abuse “was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced”.
According to a Vatican official this was the first time a pope had written to all of the world’s approximately 1.2 billion Catholics about sexual abuse. Previous epistles on the crisis have been written only to bishops and faithfuls in affected countries.
According to a grand jury report released last week, in what can be appropriately called the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church, 301 priests in the country had in a period spanning over 70 years, sexually abused underage faithfuls.
The Catholic Church is currently facing sexual abuse crisis in several countries, including Ireland which is billed to host the pope in the coming days. United States, Chile and Australia are among the worst hit.