I was surprised as a lot of other people were with the Pope's acknowledgement of sexual abuse in the church. While this was encouraging as a start I am not sure where the healing actually begin's. I am from the Anglican church and was abused by a Vicar over a three year period. When this predator was exposed, the church did nothing to acknowledge the role it played in fostering a culture of blind followership while protecting thier own interest's in terms of any sort of reporting or exposure that they would have. They tried to distance themselves from this person by moving him out. All to often this happens as we saw in the Catholic church. The Anglican church will still not acknowledge what happened.
It is sad that organized religion seems to be set up in such a way that it is easy to pass the problem from one parish to another as the perpators move from one location to another. Without any sort of conviction it is easy to deny the existence of the abuse or shroud it in secrecy based on the person's right to privacy.
The predator's in these situations are very cleaver, they focus a lot of energy on developing the basis for abuse and fostering the trust, if that is what you call it, of the victim.
It seems that if organized religion or following of any sort was really serious about protecting themselves, they would start by providing the protection to the followers that if abuse happens or is about to happen, it is not betraying the church or god to report it, it is okay to protect yourself and expect that the church will protect you.
This is why I say that the work really has to start now, not just in the catholic church, but in all other religions. The work is to expose criminal acts or acts of manipulation openly so that there is no hiding behind a vale of secrecy. The whole process needs to be transparent, not just have lip service done to it when someone gets caught.
We are taught that God is love, his house of worship, in whatever form should be a safe place. We need to be vigilant and keep the momentum going, making all organizations accountable for the abusers in thier midst.
As I started off, I am encouraged by the Pope's address, but disappointed that the Anglican church can not do the same.
"the only limit to what can be achieved is our own imagination" Albert Eienstien