The Pope’s Biggest Challenge
This week we have a special edition dedicated to the Pope’s visit. One of the most challenging things that many believed Pope Francis would have to face on his visit was the issue of addressing abuse within the church and listening to survivors.
Kevin O’Rourke SJ, assistant director of Jesuit novices, speaks to Pat Coyle on Pope Francis’ pending visit to Ireland and the shadow that abuse cases have cast on the Catholic Church. In particular the recent report on clerical sexual abuse in the United States. Fr O’Rourke likens the current crisis to the reformation in the 16th century, commenting that it is a worldwide problem for the Church.
He welcomes the pope’s response to the widespread abuse in his letter issued on Monday, 20 August 2018, and says that the culture of clericalism needs to change and the people need to listen with their heart to abuse survivors.
He believes that the trauma of the clerical sexual abuse in this country has, like the famine, become embedded in the psyche of the Irish people and he hopes that those in charge will really take on board what happened to those who were abused.