I have an idea. What if they have the priest stand in front of all the family members of the children they hurt. Each family member gets a rock of their choice. See where this is going? Some family members may feel like they didn't forgive them enough with the first rock, so they should be given the chance to try and forgive as many times as it takes.
They should have been excommunicated at the first transgression, first suspicion, and handed over to that authorities to be dealt with accordingly. They abused a privileged position to do horrible things to vulnerable people, and made them feel like they were the ones who were horrible in questioning god. They should not be forgiven, this cannot be forgotten. The catholic church itself should have had all of its institutions dissolved and liquidated with the assets going to the victims.
First of all I'm not even sure who would give a public speech of forgiveness... But nevertheless, it is not something that should be done. Pope Francis asked for forgiveness to let the world know that the Church is ashamed of that part of the past, not because he expects forgiveness. He is asking for people to not look at what happened as a reflection of the Church, because a few priests shouldn't be a reflection of the entire Church. Just the same as a few Muslim extremists shouldn't be a reflection of Islam as a whole.
Australian sentences for offenders are abysmal compared to other jurisdictions. Priests get suspended sentences for indecent assault and having thousands of child porn images. Child Rapist priests have served four and a half years.
There can be no forgiveness without remorse and restitution and the just repayment of the debt to society for the devastation wrought.
Then and only then can survivors even begin to think about whether they choose to offer forgiveness either to the Church system that enabled the abuse or the perpetrator.
Apologies are hollow. Words without just and humble action are not deserving of any forgiveness
Sexual abuse of children is an illegal act and should be punished by the law that were put in place to protect children. Any person, male or female should that abuses a child sexually be should not be forgiven and made accountable no matter their job, sex, or race. This also included Catholic priests.
The action of molestation is extremely victimizing and shames the victim beyond words. It is not the place of the public to forgive an abuser. This is something that can only be done by the victim if and when they feel it is time. Priests found guilty of the crime should be held accountable in court and tucked away from the eye of the public. Scorn can exist, but the subject of forgiveness should not.
If any member of the public abused children, they would be sent to jail and be frowned upon by others, without forgiveness. Therefore, we should follow the same procedure and treat them for what wrongdoing they have done. If God feels that they should be forgiven, then they shall be forgiven, yet we should treat them with anger.
As a member of the church, priests are aware of what is right and what is wrong. You actually don't have to be member of the church to know this. Therefore they should be held accountable of their actions and receiving forgiveness from the public is almost saying that what they did is okay. Part of their punishment is not being forgiven by their peers.