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Finland: mgr. Sippo (Helsinki) writes to the congregation to “apologise for the pain of the victims” of abuse

“In the last few weeks, we have been shocked by the many cases of child abuse committed by priests in Pennsylvania”, the bishop of Helsinki, Teemu Sippo, writes today in a letter to the congregation, in which he “apologises for the pain of the victims” and tells about his “embarrassment” for the sins the priests have been guilty of. Mgr. Sippo expresses his gratitude to Pope Francis “for his words” in the 20th August letter and to Pope Benedict who, during his papacy, made abuse proceedings “stricter and more effective”. “Zero tolerance” remarkably reduced the number of new cases, writes the bishop, who speaks of setting up a Committee in the diocese of Helsinki too, “to investigate potential cases”. In addition, the bishop writes about fundamental and “firm cooperation with lay authorities to punish all the offenders” and thus also heal the Church. The bishop asks to be empathetic with and respectful of children, and to fight “the current attitude to sexuality”, which “often sees the other person as a mere object, as a means to fulfil one’s needs”, mentioning the commandment about loving one’s neighbour given by Jesus and His words: “as much as you have done to one of these my little brothers you have done that to me”.

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