Mumbai: Amidst the long-drawn emotional churning being witnessed over the issue of abuse by members of the clergy in Europe and the US, the Pope on Friday apologised to those victims who had been demanding that their pleas for redressal be acknowledged by the Vatican. Church authorities in India confirm they have installed a series of safeguards in Mumbai even though the problem is not as widespread in India.
In a proactive step, the leaders of the faith took a serious view of priests who not only hit students in school but also lose their temper. In extreme situations, a priest who is charged with misconduct is “laicized’’ or defrocked. He cannot lead mass and is moved to a desk job that does not involve interaction with the public. In a significant departure from earlier practice, the police are notified as well. ‘‘We don’t abandon the priest altogether. We provide legal assistance and counselling in the best interests of justice,’’ said Fr Anthony.