Pope Francis’ reputation on sex abuse ‘has gone from bad to worse’

Source: Religion News Service

Osorno Bishop Juan Barros, left, in Iquique, Chile, on Jan. 18, 2018. Pope Francis in Lima, Peru, on Jan. 21, 2018. (Left: AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino; right: L’Osservatore Romano Vatican Media)

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — From his advocacy for migrants to opening up the Sistine Chapel to Rome’s homeless, Pope Francis has been an outspoken voice for people suffering on the margins.

But the 81-year-old pontiff’s appeals on behalf of the downtrodden are being overshadowed by the way he is dealing with victims of clerical sexual abuse.

“This is a situation which the pope has mishandled, and it’s gone from bad to worse,” Marie Collins, a former member of a pontifical commission on clerical sex abuse, who herself was abused by a priest when she was 13 years old, told Religion News Service.

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