“ The Gospel message of mercy is ultimately a source of powerful healing and of grace,” said the Church as it granted mercy to a handful of paedophile priests last week reducing their sanctions. Pope Francis reduced sanctions against priests charged with abusing children, on the grounds of mercy and granted clemency, rubbing many survivors of abuse and his own advisors the wrong way.
This despite the Church’s benevolence backfiring last year with the Italian courts convicting an Italian priest Rev. Mauro Inzoli. Inzoli, despite being found guilty of sexual crimes against children by the Vatican in 2012, had appealed for and been granted mercy by Pope Francis in 2014, on the grounds that ‘No misery is so profound, no sin so terrible that mercy cannot be applied”. The Church has now ordered a second trial, citing emergence of fresh evidence against him, while the Italian courts sentenced him to four years, nine months in prison.
Pope Francis actions and views differ greatly from Pope Benedict XVI, who had not just ordered a massive crackdown on abusers during his papacy from 2005- 2013, but also defrocked around 800 priests who were found guilty of raping and molesting children.