Pope Francis begged for forgiveness for the pain suffered by victims of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic priests and demanded accountability, saying the decades-long abuse and cover ups must be rooted out of the church.
In a letter to Catholics around the world on Monday, Francis blasted the self-referential clerical culture that has been blamed for the crisis, with church leaders seemingly more concerned for their reputations than the safety of children.
Marc Thiessen, Fox News Contributor and Washington Post Columnist, joined Fox News Radio's Marie Harf to discuss the Catholic Church abuse and the Pope's letter.
On the Catholic Church abuse scandal: The Church is not the bishops. The Church is the Body of Christ and it's all the people and it's the sacraments and the Eucharist. So, I'm trying to stay close to that and pray about it. Prayer is important. The Pope's letter was important. The pope's letter today was missing one word: accountability. There was nothing in there about dealing with the bishops who covered up this abuse and who moved around these priests. (1:15)
On the mood in Church after this: It's very telling whether the priest addresses it not. It tells you a lot about your priest or your pastor on how they handle it. (4:50)
On the importance of the hierarchy in the Church: In the Catholic tradition the bishops are the successors to the apostles. Jesus laid hands on the apostles and gave them the office of the apostle. When Judas left the apostles laid hands on a replacement. Our tradition says that for 2,000 years since then there has been laying on of hands. These are people who are exercising the office of the apostles in the Catholic Church. We need to remember that apostles were sinners. Judas was an apostle and he betrayed Christ. Peter was an apostle and he betrayed Christ, except the difference was he repented. He asked for forgiveness and that's the big difference is the repentance. (7:25)
On if there is a path forward: I've never called for a resignation of a cardinal or a bishop in my life and I'm not 51 years old. It's not an easy thing to do. But, what makes me angry is the harm that has been done to the victims, but also all the people who didn't go to Mass on Sunday who were separated from the Eucharist and the sacrament who didn't go to confession because they didn't want to be alone with a priest. (9:56)