Saturday, 12 April 2014

Bruce D Hales and his henchmen McNaughton, Christie, Reiner, Gadsden, Barter, Turner and Hazell remain silent on the subject of detriment and harm caused by the Plymouth brethren Christian church

Whereas The Pope asks forgiveness for child sex abuse by priests

Francis’ statement echoes the apology made to the victims of abusive priests in Ireland by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI
Francis’ statement echoes the apology made to the victims of abusive priests in Ireland by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI
Picture: AP

After initially rebutting allegations of covering up child abuse, Pope Francis makes a public apology about the 'evil' deeds of some Catholic priests

Pope Francis has made his first public plea for forgiveness for the “evil” committed by priests who molested children.

Using some of his strongest words yet on the Roman Catholic Church’s sexual abuse crisis, the Pope went off script to say: “I feel compelled to personally take on all the evil which some priests - quite a few in number, (although) obviously not compared to the number of all priests - to personally ask for forgiveness for the damage they have done for having sexually abused children.”

The Pope, who has faced criticism for his apparent lack of attention to the child abuse scandal within the Catholic Church, last month rebutted accusations made by the UN about senior prelates covering up for abusive priests.

“The Catholic Church is possibly the only public institution to have acted with transparency and responsibility,” he said in a newspaper interview at the time. “No one else has done more. Yet the Church is the only one to be attacked.”

Francis’s apology suggests a change of direction for the pope and follows the Vatican’s decision last month to name a former abuse victim, the Irish anti-abuse campaigner Marie Collins, to a new Vatican panel set up to study the issue.

“The Church is aware of this damage,” Francis said, quoted by Vatican Radio. “It is personal, moral damage carried out by men of the Church, and we will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem, and the sanctions that must be imposed. On the contrary, we have to be even stronger. Because you cannot interfere with children.”

Francis’s statement echoes the apology made to the victims of abusive priests in Ireland by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. In a letter to victims in 2010, Benedict wrote, “You have suffered grievously and I am truly sorry, “ adding, “Your trust has been betrayed and your dignity has been violated... I openly express the shame and remorse that we all feel.”


  1. The Roman Catholic Church made a lot of bad mistakes, particularly towards the end of the 20th Century when the extent of sexual abuse of children was only beginning to be revealed. A lot of the present hostility towards the Church hierarchy, including hostility from within the Church, arose not because of the abuse itself, but because of attempts to deny it, cover it up, silence the victims and protect the offenders.

    I hope the Hales Brethren do not make too many similar mistakes. I was disturbed to discover how many of my ex-Brethren friends said they had been sexually abused as children, but I was in some ways even more disgusted when they told me of Brethren attempting to discredit, bully, bribe, threaten, harass or otherwise silence people who revealed the allegations.

    That is the sort of thing that got thousands of Roman Catholics voting with their feet, and potentially it could get all decent and conscientious Brethren voting with their feet too, those that have not already done so.

    Pope Francis seems to express and practise core Christian values and principles more than many in his church, and he seems able and determined to effect real reform. I do wish someone of his calibre and determination and honesty would emerge among the Hales Brethren.

  2. Going back to the old days of The Exclusive Brethren when there were small, sometimes quite rural, meetings, with small attendance, I recall it reported that one married, senior male member, with a child, confessed to another, in confidence, that he was sexually attracted to children. As there were hardly any children in the congregation, and it was so small, I doubt whether he had much opportunity to act on his proclivities; however, as far as I know, the matter remained in confidence.

  3. Today is the start of Holy Week. It's significant that Jesus didn't impose suffering on others, he bore it himself.