Pope Francis was speaking during the fourth and final day of his tour of the Baltics with the young people, CNN reported. Researchers of three German universities examined 38,156 personnel files spanning a 70-year period ending 2014, and found indications of sexual abuse by 1,670 clerics, with more than 3,700 possible victims who preferred to keep inside their pain and shame.
Francis’ visit to Tallinn marked the last stop in a four-day pilgrimage that also took him to Lithuania and Latvia. The trip aimed to encourage the Christian faith in the Baltics, which saw five decades of Soviet-imposed religious repression and state-sponsored atheism, as well as the World War II-era occupation by Nazi Germany.
More than half of those abused between 1946 and 2014 were 13 or younger and nearly a third of them were altar boys. None of the parents wants such a fate to their kids, so, Catholic Church urgently needs to improve its image. Pope Francis told the young Estonians:
“We know – and you have told us – that many young people do not turn to us for anything because they don’t feel we have anything meaningful to say to them,”
he told a group of Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox young people in Estonia.
Francis has been warmly welcomed in the region, even if Catholics are only a majority in Lithuania. Estonia only has 6,000 Catholics nationwide, but residents still seemed to welcome Francis’ inclusive message and flocked to his final Mass in a chilly but sun-soaked Freedom Square near Tallinn’s charming medieval centre.
The modern people understand that Church today is optional, none is able to make yourself to become its adept. There is the practice of joining a religion in the conscious age, not being a baby. Under such practices, the Catholic Church with its sex scandals will definitely lose its adepts across the world.
Surveys commissioned by the Vatican, ahead of a bishops meeting next week to discuss how to better minister to young Catholics, have been filled with similar complaints. Francis said that the church wanted to respond to the criticism in an honest and transparent way.
“We have to realise that in order to stand by your side we need to change many situations that, in the end, put you off,”