May 18, 2010
VALLETTA, Malta — A teary-eyed Pope Benedict XVI responded to the clerical sex abuse scandal Sunday, by telling victims the Church will do everything possible to bring abusive priests to justice, and protect children.
The pontiff met with eight Maltese men who say they were molested and raped as boys living at a Catholic orphanage by four priests, and an unidentified blind man. (Aside from aiding the four priests in ravaging the orphan boys during almost nightly gang-rapes, the sightless man was not officially affiliated with the Catholic Church.) While the pontiff promised “Church Action” in “implementing effective measures” to protect children, he didn’t provide any additional information on his plan.
Benedict’s failure to elaborate on the details of his plan was a slap in the face to Victims’ advocacy groups who have been demanding the Church adopt a more concrete plan to safeguard children from abusive clergy. Despite the disappointment felt by the Victims’ groups, most did say the Pope’s stated desire to create a plan, was at the very least – a move in the right direction. Considering the victims’ experiences and painful history with the Church, being slapped in the face should be seen as an encouraging sign by us all.
There is one group though, whose members are actually upset that they didn’t receive any “Church Action.” The small organization only known as, “The Lucky Ones,” were noticeably absent from the meeting on Sunday. They were extended an invitation by the Church to attend the meeting, but the Vatican’s Press Minister despite the invitation the Church did not receive any response. The majority of Victims’ groups openly oppose The Lucky Ones and claim they’re sympathy mongers with nothing to complain about. The group consists of men who either attended Catholic schools, or lived near churches, and were able to reach adulthood without ever being raped or molested by priests. Based on the Church’s pedo-friendly reputation the boys and young men, simply expected to be sexually abused by a priest at some point. For the men of The Lucky Ones, the question was never – if…, but rather when were they going to get raped by a priest.
While every member of The Lucky Ones confirms having had some contact with priests growing up, they were miraculously left untouched, which would ordinarily be a cause for celebration. Yet, they say not being raped or molested has actually been a bittersweet victory. They readily admit that the plight suffered by the group pales in comparison to those who were actually raped, and do not wish to take anything away from them. The Lucky Ones have called themselves a niche’ group who simply want raise awareness and help those who have no one to turn to. Read more of this post