I have seen and met several gb members over the years. Some thought their poop didn't smell and others made it a point to visit the elderly and sick privately. I never felt that the requirements for them as a Christian were any different than then were for a lowly woman like me. I saw elders avoid the sick and elderly and delegate to others. When we were jws did we make it a point to visit those at the KH and make an appointment to visit them at home, the elderly, the sick, the depressed...not many based on my experiences in 20 congregations.
The Pope is practicing PR and realizes that if Catholics are to stay things have to appear to have changed. But have they?
Between 2004 and 2013, US diocese paid $1.7bn in legal settlements, according to a report released last year by the US Conference on Catholic Bishops. In that same period, it also paid $379m in legal fees.
“I have supported your generous commitment to bring healing to victims – in the knowledge that in healing we too are healed – and to work to ensure that such crimes will never be repeated,” he continued, prompting a round of applause from the assembled bishops.
Pope Francis’s brief remarks prompted an angry response from activists at Snap (Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests), the most vocal advocacy group for abuse victims.
“We’re sad that Francis claims US bishops have shown ‘courage’ in the abuse crisis. Almost without exception, they have shown cowardice and callousness and continue to do so now,” said Barbara Dorris, the group’s victims outreach director.
“They offer excuses, exploit legal technicalities and hide behind expensive lawyers and public relations professionals, hardly the marks of courage,” she said.
“We’re also sad that Francis can’t bring himself to call this crisis what it is – not ‘difficult moments in recent history’, but the continuing cover-up of clergy child sex crimes by almost the entire church hierarchy.”
While Francis has sought to take steps to increase the church’s accountability, some victims’ advocacy groups say there is much more the church needs to do.
An estimate calculated by BishopAccountability.org found that there have been at least 17,200 victims of clerical abuse in the US.
The abuse scandals in the US, as in other countries around the world, did not only implicate pedophile priests but also the bishops and cardinals who protected them, and in many cases allowed them to prey on more young victims