Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Wednesday 02 December |
Saint of the Day: St. Bibiana
home iconChurch
line break icon

"I Am Father Jorge": Pope Phones A Sex-Abuse Victim and Causes a Stir in Spain

AP Photo/Max Rossi

Alvaro Real - published on 11/20/14

Media publish a possible phone conversation between Francis and the young man in Granada.

Many media outlets have reported this Tuesday on a supposed phone call from Pope Francis to a young man in Granada (Spain) who suffered from sexual abuse when he was a minor. A group of priests are implicated in the case.

According to the Religión Digital website, Francis called the victim this past August, asked him for forgiveness in the name of the Church, and committed himself to following the case through to the end to ensure justice is done.  For the moment, the archbishop of Granada has removed from ministry several priests who are implicated in this case.

Various media outlets have published the Pope’s supposed conversation with the young man, who has been given the alias “Daniel.” This is the account:

“Who is it?” Daniel answers. “Am I speaking with Daniel?” comes the reply from the other end of the phone, in a strangely familiar voice. “Yes, it’s me. Who’s calling?” “Good afternoon my son, I am Fr. Jorge.” “I’m sorry,” Daniel responds, “you must have the wrong number. I don’t know any Fr. Jorge.” And he is astonished when he hears, “Well, I’m Pope Francis.”
For a few seconds, Daniel can’t even make a sound. On the other end, his interlocutor thinks that he has hung up. “Are you still there?”  His tone of voice is unmistakable. It’s the Pope!

“My son, calm down. I read your letter several times. I couldn’t help being moved, and feeling profound sorrow when I read your story. I want to ask you for forgiveness in the name of the whole Church of Christ.  Forgive this grave sin and very serious crime which you have suffered. These wounds make the whole Church suffer.” Tears run down Daniel’s face. He can’t stop crying, nor say a single word.

Pope Francis’s call took place in the month of August and is in response to five long pages in which Daniel explained his case.  The victim sent his letter to the office of the Secretary of State, and it was the Pope himself who answered him over the phone.

“You have my total support, my son, and the support of the whole Church. I am about to go on a trip to Korea, but there are already people working to resolve all of this. I thank God that you conserve your Faith and continue in the Church. Pray for me, my son, as I will without a doubt pray for you, your family and the rest of the victims of this serious offense committed by priests. I send you my blessing and the complete support of the Church, and a strong hug, my son.”

At this time, the case of Daniel and of other additional victims is being investigated by the judicial police of Granada.
It is not the first time that Pope Francis has shown public or private gestures of closeness to victims of sexual abuse by priests. Last July, for example, he received Peter Saunders in the Vatican. Saunders is the founder of the National Association for People Abused in Childhood (NAPAC).

This article was translated from the original by Matthew Green.

Tags:
Pope FrancisSpain
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Andrea Bocelli
J-P Mauro
Andrea Bocelli to perform live Christmas conc...
Eric Clapton, Luciano Pavarotti, East London Gospel Choir
J-P Mauro
Hear Clapton and Pavarotti sing a prayer to t...
John Paul II
Philip Kosloski
St. John Paul II's guide to a fruitful Advent
CATHEDRAL OF THE SACRED HEART
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
6 Questions to determine if your heart is har...
ADVENT
Philip Kosloski
Prayer to be watchful during Advent
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.