Church should empower victims to disclose abuse

Charles Scicluna Pontifical Secret

Title: Church should empower victims to disclose abuse

Author: Juliet Palmer

Publisher: CathNews NZ Pacific

Date:  06JUL2020

The Catholic Church needs to empower victims of clerical abuse to disclose their predicament, says Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna.

It’s been more than a year since Pope Francis published “Vos Est Lux Mundi (You are the light of the world)” – a document that ushered in a new wave of transparency and accountability for abuse cases in the Catholic Church.

This enforced the clergy’s obligation to report cases of sexual abuse to church authorities. It also applied norms for bishop accountability and strengthened channels for listening to victim reports.

Scicluna, who is the adjunct secretary of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, says to empower victims the Church needs to provide them with ways to communicate safely.

But to really help victims come forward, there must also be a spiritual accompaniment, he says. Many victims live with a “sense of guilt” due to the abuse and trying to free them of it “is also very important.”

“We talk about communicating with victims, but we really need to listen to them.”

Scicluna’s comments are based on years of work as the Promoter of Justice at the Vatican, where he improved minor protection and accountability norms. Among the cases he investigated was that of Marcial Maciel, a pedophile who founded the Legionaries of Christ.

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