Bishop Francisco Cases of the Canary Islands explained this week that the resignations of bishops involved in the sexual abuse of minors demonstrate the Church’s “zero tolerance” policy in dealing with the issue.
“It is another example of the policy of clarity and zero tolerance that the Church has,” he said. “It doesn't matter whether it is the Pope who brings it about (resignation) or the person in question.” However, he continued, “it is more authentic when the person in question resigns after realizing what he has done.”
He stressed the need to be more aware of abuse statistics, not only within the Church, but in all parts of society, saying such data is “alarming.”
“It appears that 20 percent of adults today were subjected to sexual abuse when they were children or teens. The 20 percent were not all abused by members of the Church but rather the vast majority were abused by those closest to them.”
Bishop Cases said the abuse is a social problem, and lamented that the issue is being portrayed as an ecclesial one. “This is a social issue of great magnitude and we must support children, teens and young people who have suffered sexual abuse, no matter by whom. In the Church, we are giving a clear testimony of zero tolerance in these matters,” the bishop said.