Better handling of sex abuse cases is top issue-A A +A
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
THE next pope needs to prioritize better handling of sexual abuse cases involving the clergy, a survey done by a Catholic news service showed.
Respondents also pointed to the need to resolve church conflict, show a more practical ecumenism and craft a pastoral response to divorcees.
The Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN) online survey results also showed that nearly 79 percent of respondents said the next pope should come from outside Europe. At least 45 percent said the next pope should come from Asia.
The survey was conducted from Feb. 18 to 28, with a majority of about 2,300 respondents coming from Asia.
“More than three quarters identified sexual abuse and how Church authorities respond to it as the most important challenge facing the Church and the new pope,” UCAN reported.
The UCAN is an independent Catholic news source in Asia that reports news from, about or of interest to Catholics. It reports on, among others, the work being done across the regions by priests, religious and lay people.
The UCAN also said the survey showed strong indications of Asia’s growing interest in having greater influence in the Vatican, in proportion to its dynamic growth in recent
But the agency also said the prospects of an Asian pope seem unlikely, with only nine of the voting cardinals from Asia among the 114 that will attend the conclave.
There are five cardinal-electors from India and one each from China, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. A prelate from Indonesia will not attend the conclave. It was noted that 28 of the voting cardinals are from Italy.
The survey also showed varied reactions to Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, “with the largest group of respondents expressing shock, while others described their response as “sad,” “sorry,” and “puzzled”.
But some respondents said they admired the pontiff’s courage to renounce his position, because he believes he is no longer physically strong enough for its demands.
Some respondents criticized the Vatican for failing to address pastoral issues of the divorced and remarried “despite many requests from bishops’ conferences to do so.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 06, 2013.