Elio Masferrer, a Mexican scholar who heads the Latin American Association for the Study of Religions, said the statement, with its vague plea for forgiveness, still did not address the damages done to victims by Father Maciel, or the civil crimes (stealing, embezzlement) he committed. “They think of the sexually abused as if they were people in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Mr. Masferrer said. “The strategy is not to forgive the sinner; it is to protect the sinner.” (Rachel Donadino)