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Apologies are not enough

When you’re wronged, it’s nice to hear the words, “I’m sorry, please forgive me.” I learned that much in Catholic school — a long, long time ago. I also learned that apology alone is never enough. We need to mend what we break and promise never to do it again.However, Pope Francis doesn’t seem to remember this core lesson of his own Catholic school education. If he did, he’d be taking steps to help mend all the lives that have been broken by the devastating impact of clergy sex abuse.

Survivors in Chile wanted Bishop Barros removed from his high place of honor. That is why they told their stories of pain and anguish.

After the apologies, survivors want action

All survivors want to hear words of apology. But they want those words followed by swift and bold action to stop the damage. As the damage to my church spirals out of control, I want to hear Pope Francis say, “After reading testimonies from survivors of clergy sex abuse, I am removing Bishop Barros, Bishop McCarrick and others from their role as Bishops. Bishops, be on alert – I’m not going to let this happen again.”That would please me.

How about you? Would you like to hear that something substantive is going to be done to stop this scourge?

What do you think the faithful should do about this? How can we take action to make our leaders take action?

Published by Mary Dispenza

Activist, advocate, and teacher helping those abused by priests come to terms with their spirituality, sexuality and the church. Author of SPLIT, a memoir of abuse and healing.

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  1. Yes, I believe action must follow the “I’m sorry”. I am not catholic but the need for action to take place is so crucial to all areas of life where harm has taken place. We all must demand that people involved be held accountable and not rest until it happens. In addition we all need to look deep to examine where we may have hurt others in our sphere, apologize, and vow to not repeat.