That caption would certainly be deemed a slanderous exaggeration by conservative traditionalists in the Catholic church, yet it would also highlight the dismay in a vast section of the congregation that little of the desired “concrete” action against predator priests emerged at the much-hyped conference of the top clergy at the Vatican over the last four days. There would be much disappointment that in his all-important concluding observations His Holiness Pope Francis attributed rampant sexual abuse to the machinations of the Devil. And that while, rightly, the focus was on the paedophilia that has rocked the West, generally underplayed was the more local scourge of some priests exploiting for sexual advantage the nuns and other women over whom they exercised authority. That a Bishop is under arrest (out on bail presently) for allegedly harassing a nun, and a priest has recently been convicted for the same criminal offence is disgraceful enough: what triggers alarm is the concerted “victim shaming”, and myriad pressures on their families and associates to have the complainants back off. A communication on the outcome of the conference from the Catholic Bishops Conference of India, more comprehensive and authentic than media reportage, is awaited. It could be widely circulated and read out at services as “insurance” against potential miscreants. For all too often the victims are not too sure of where they may seek relief or succour. The Vatican cannot be expected to deal with localised, specific problems. Alas, in recent times the track record of the CBCI is not reassuring. This is not for a moment to suggest that Pope Francis ducked the most serious issue convulsing the Church in recent times. He slammed sexual abuse as being the equivalent of “human sacrifice” and promised an “all-out battle against abusive priests”. Adding that, “we are dealing with abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth.” He asserted that “even a single case of abuse must be met with utmost seriousness.” The Church needed to protect children from “ravenous wolves.” He proceeded to regret that “consecrated persons chosen by God to guide souls to salvation let themselves be dominated by human frailty or sickness, and thus become tools of Satan… In abuse we see that the hand of evil that does not spare even the innocence of children. No explanations suffice…” Those were indeed powerful words, and possibly unprecedented. The question arises as to what extent the Pope’s words will be heeded, and the extent the Vatican’s entrenched bureaucracy will ensure that those rather revolutionary messages will trickle down. Particularly at a time when “vocations” are on the wane, and dearth of priests is assuming acute implications the world over.