The world will have its eyes set on the pope visiting Lithuania this weekend to see if he will touch upon the sexual abuse scandal rocking the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis
© Reuters / Scanpix

Shocking figures revealed in the United States and Europe over the past few months have revealed the scale of sexual abuse against children by Catholic priests or attempts to cover them up.

Philosopher Vytautas Ališauskas says the pope might touch upon the issue indirectly.

"I would say it shouldn’t be a special theme but if it's not expressed directly, so in any case he will speak about things that are closely related, including the Church's openness and ability to respond to challenges," said Ališauskas who served as Lithuania's ambassador to the Vatican in 2008-2012.

"These things will definitely overshadow the papal visit to Lithuania since the Catholic Church is a global religious community, and events in one or another corner of the world affect the whole community," Milda Ališauskienė, a sociology professor at Vytautas Magnus University, said.

Following a long probe, the Catholic Church in Lithuania disclosed in March a sexual abuse case involving a priest, dating back to the seventies. The priest involved is already deceased.

A separate case of alleged rape of a minor by a priest was launched in 1992 but later dropped due to a statute of limitations.

Ališauskienė says more and more states might starts reconsidering their relations with the Church in the long term.

"In some areas the issue might be raised as to whether the Church is capable of ensuring religious education, what's its quality and contents, and who are those people who teach that," she said.

Pope Francis will visit Lithuania on Saturday and Sunday and will travel to Latvia and Estonia later.

BNS
It is prohibited to copy and republish the text of this publication without a written permission from UAB „BNS“.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanians have better opinion about EU than other countries – EP survey

Lithuanians have a favorable opinion about the European Union and the country's EU membership. But...

Lithuania plans to open embassies in UAE, Australia, Indonesia

Lithuania plans to open embassies in the United Arab Emirates, Australia and Indonesia over the next...

Lithuanian president, EU leaders to discuss stalling Brexit in Brussels

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is on Wednesday leaving for Brussels to meet with other EU...

Seimas speaker invites Palestinians to open Baltic representation in Lithuania

Viktoras Pranckietis , the speaker of the Seimas, invited Palestinians to set up a representative...

Four more refugees to be transferred to Lithuania from Turkey

Lithuania will have to accept another four refugees, implementing the international agreement, the...