Speaking to Ukraine's oldest Catholic order, he also regrets that the Ukraine war is relegated to "page 9" of the newspapers.
Abuses in the Church cannot be solved by transferring the abuser from one continent to another, Pope Francis stated as he received three religious congregations gathered in general chapters on July 14, 2022, at the Vatican.
During this audience, which was an exception in the Pope’s summer break, he also made a point of recalling the Ukrainian war, worrying that it is being forgotten.
Speaking to the Order of the Mother of God, the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat and the Congregation of the Mission, the Pope left his prepared speech to speak about the problem of the abuse of minors and vulnerable persons.
He strongly emphasized a policy of “zero tolerance” for such abuse. “Please,” he said, “do not hide this reality. Don’t be ashamed to speak out.”
A problem of abuse, the head of the Catholic Church also said, “is not solved by a transfer. From this continent I send him to another… No.”
“We are religious, we are priests to bring people to Jesus,” said the Pontiff, adding that the abuser “destroys.”
It is not enough to accompany the abuser, he told the religious, it is necessary to “protect others.”
Do not forget Ukraine
Pope Francis also again expressed his concern about the danger of getting used to and “forgetting the Ukrainian drama” which, he lamented, is now on “page nine” of the newspaper.
He expressed his closeness to the Ukrainian Basilian brothers, “in this moment of martyrdom of your homeland.”
“The whole Church is close to you. We accompany you as we can in your pain,” he assured.
The Basilian Order of St. Josaphat is the oldest order of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. Josaphat is a 17th-century martyr.