Cardinal Hummes has asked the bishops of the world to form groups to pray for the victims of sexual abuse; According to Reuters 

A top Vatican official has proposed creating prayer groups to pray for victims of sexual abuse by priests, in an effort to help heal wounds from recent abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic Church.          

Cardinal Claudio Hummes, head of the Congregation for the Clergy which oversees the world’s 400,000 Catholic priests, told the Vatican‘s official newspaper that he had already written to bishops urging them to promote such groups in which priests and the faithful gather to pray together.

Prayer, of course, does not replace the elemental justice that victims are owed, or the necessity of abusers and bishops to do penance for the harm they have done the victims.

The Vatican still is circulating a false statistic, Philip Jenkins in his somewhat outdated book Priests and pedophiles cited a statistic that only 1% of the priests in one study were accused of abusing pre-pubertal children, that is pedophilia strictly speaking. Cardinal Hummes has this figure stuck in his mind.

Obviously it must be remembered that only a minimal part of the clergy is involved in serious situations,” Hummes said.

“Not even 1 percent has anything to do with problems of moral and sexual conduct. The biggest majority has nothing to do with things of this nature.”

Most of the victims were adolescent boys. The John Jay study that the bishops of the US commissioned said that about 4.5% of the priests in the past 50 years had been credibly accused of abuse. No one knows what the criteria were for “credibility.” The diocese of Providence had twice as many cases as it reported to the John Jay Study. In all probability closer to 7-9% of priest in the US have been sexually involved with minors, and in Spain the percentage seems be the same. Unless there is an unusual number of abusers in the US clergy (and this would demand explanation), the figure is probably roughly the same around the world

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