..."Indeed ‘pastoral care’ implies there is a relationship between those involved, and in that relationship there is a ‘trust’. I think you would be very hard pressed to find any survivors or their families expressing anything other than their feelings of betrayal and demands for justice, which invariably intensify in failed and harrowing protracted judicial processes in the vast majority of cases.
I think the initiative by the Papal Advisory Council of Cardinals will need to consider ‘how badly have we [the church] messed up that relationship?’ The legal process does nothing to show there is anything but self-interest and self-preservation.
Those faced with causing scandal through perpetration or facilitation are thrown into survival mode. Their state of affairs triggers a ‘flight or fight response’ in order to survive what presents itself as a ruinous situation to the reputation and existence of those causing such scandal. Since the 1980’s the response was one of insurance and lawyers, hardly the expected response of professed ministers of the living God.
Scandal is the drawing of another into doing a wrong because of the gravity of an offence caused. Clerical child sexual abuse has clearly drawn hierarchical figures within the Catholic Church into responses that served the ‘rescue of reputation’ of particular dioceses or congregations rather than the ‘rescue of children’ sexually abused by clergy...."