By Henri Boulad Egyptian Jesuit - Washington Post
Returning to the reason for this letter, I will try to be as brief, clear, and objective as possible.
In the first place, there are several topics [the list is not exhaustive].
I end, Holy Father, by asking your pardon for my outspoken boldness and I ask for your paternal blessing. Let me also tell you that in these days I live in your company thanks to your extraordinary book, Jesus of Nazareth, which is the focus of my spiritual reading and daily meditation.
Henri Boulad, S.J. ix a priest in Egypt and rector of the Jesuit school in Cairo.
Holy Week is time when Catholics worldwide feel the pain of dying in Christ.
Yet another problem has emerged. Society is finally seeing that sexual abuse of a child is a sin, a crime and often a sickness. Now we ask with hindsight why those in authority did not act more quickly in addressing the problem, more stringently in dealing with offenders, and more compassionately when hearing the victims. It is little comfort that many in charge acted with woefully inadequate knowledge, the same inadequate knowledge that has bedeviled psychology, law enforcement, even families for half a century or more. It is not an excuse - some things, such as not harming the weak, you should know instinctively. However, it is a fact that all of us now know more now than we did 50, 40, 30, 20, and even 10 years ago. We treat physical and mental illness today in ways different from how we did in the 1960s. The police who once for the sake of peace in the precinct took a "Get out of Dodge" approach to many crimes no longer practice such expeditious law enforcement. And while we still believe in the power of prayer, no one in the church thinks a 30-day retreat and a firm purpose of amendment can cure a sexual abuser. (Pedophilia was a crime 50, 40, 30, 20, and even 10 years ago. Aiding an abetting was a crime and is a crime. Families do not shuffle their 'Uncle Teds' to other families or reassign them at family gatherings so Uncle Ted can return to 'family' life and prey on other families.)
Sister Mary Ann Walsh is Director of Media Relations for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.