The ‘War of the Worlds’ actor calls out the current head of the Catholic Church, accusing the bishop of failing to address the child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests.
Gabriel Byrne has slammed Pope Francis for failing to bring about transformational change in the way the Catholic Church deals with child sexual abuse.
The Pope announced sweeping changes to church rules last year (19), with the aim of ending a global series of scandals in which Church officials were found to have covered up child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests.
However, Gabriel, who was himself sexually abused by Catholic clergymen during his childhood in Ireland, believes nothing will change until Francis makes Catholic doctrine more progressive.
“He’s done absolutely nothing to address the real issues of child sexual abuse or the role of women or divorce or birth control,” he tells British newspaper The Guardian.
Calling on the Pope to allow priests to marry, he adds, “It’s supposed to be a church of love and yet to deny his love to its priests? It’s incomprehensible that you would say to a man or a woman: ‘You can’t have a partner. You can’t be in love with anybody.’ ”
The star is particularly animated over the issue as he believes the church-led education system, that failed him as a child, is still in place in his native Ireland.
“It still makes me angry. The church still controls education in Ireland,” “The Usual Suspects” star explains. “And it’s an obscenity to tell innocent children they’re going to go to hell for taking sixpence out of their mother’s purse.”