- Published: Tuesday, 26 February 2019 03:15
AN ‘ALL-OUT BATTLE’ AGAINST THE ABUSE OF MINORS
We support the Vatican meeting on abuse - and its hoped-for developments.
Mebers of End Clergy Abuse and survivors
The time has come for an "all-out battle" against the abuse of minors, erasing this abominable crime from the face of the earth, Pope Francis said, closing a global four-day summit on child protection in the Catholic Church.
Eight guidelines can be summarised as follows:
- A “change of mentality” to focus on protecting children rather than “protecting the institution.”
2. A recognition of the “impeccable seriousness” of these “sins and crimes of consecrated persons.”
3. A genuine purification beginning with “self-accusation.”
4. Positive formation of candidates for the priesthood in the virtue of chastity.
5. Strengthening and reviewing of guidelines by episcopal conferences, reaffirming the need for “rules.”
6. The accompaniment of those who have been abused with an emphasis on listening.
7. Ensure that seminarians and clergy are not enslaved to an addiction to pornography.
8. Combat sexual tourism around the world.
And more women's voices heard: Bernadette Fahy and Marie Collins with Pope Francis, Dublin, 2018
Three upcoming actions:
Fr. Federico Lombardi, who moderated the February 21-14, 2019, abuse summit on “The Protection of Minors in the Church” issued a statement on next steps in the process of addressing the issue. It lists three key upcoming actions:
- A new Motu Proprio from the Pope “on the protection of minors and vulnerable persons”,
- A Vademecum to help bishops around the world clearly understand their duties and tasks
- Creation of task forces of competent persons to help episcopal conferences and dioceses that find it difficult to confront the problems and produce initiatives for the protection of minors.
POPE FRANCIS DECLARED
“In people’s justified anger, the Church sees the reflection of the wrath of God, betrayed and insulted by these deceitful consecrated persons. The echo of the silent cry of the little ones who, instead of finding in them fathers and spiritual guides, encountered tormentors, will shake hearts dulled by hypocrisy and by power. It is our duty to pay close heed to this silent, choked cry,”
WE DARE NOT FAIL. MARK COLERIDGE, HOMILY AT THE END OF THE VATICAN MEETING
He said a mission stretches before us: “a mission demanding not just words but real concrete action” and he pledged to “do all we can to bring justice and healing to survivors of abuse; we will listen to them, believe them and walk with them; we will ensure that those who have abused are never again able to offend; we will call to account those who have concealed abuse; we will strengthen the processes of recruitment and formation of Church leaders; we will educate all our people in what safeguarding requires”.
“We will do all in our power to make sure that the horrors of the past are not repeated and that the Church is a safe place for all, a loving mother especially for the young and the vulnerable”.
The Archbishop said bishops and priests will not act alone, but will work with all concerned for the good of the young and the vulnerable, and promised they will continue to deepen their understanding of abuse and its effects, of why it has happened in the Church and what must be done to eradicate it.
“All of this will take time, but we do not have forever and we dare not fail.”