ECA Scicluna Pontifical Secret
Title: Survivors refute Scicluna’s statement that “silence and cover-ups” in the Church are now “a thing of the past”.
Author: Law, Tim; Buchanan, Denise; Isely, Peter
Publisher: End Clergy Abuse
His Holiness, Pope Francis,
00120 Vatican City.
Dear Pope Francis,
Our organization led the largest international gathering of clergy sexual abuse victims and activists in Rome in February 2019 and 2020. Our conduct was peaceful and our message clear: Zero Tolerance.
Last month, during the first anniversary of your global summit on abuse we returned to Rome to deliver a report on the developments over the past year from around the world. Our presence was not acknowledged and no one from the Vatican or Church leadership approached us. This was in sharp contrast to last year when we were invited to meet with your planning group before the Summit and Cardinals dropped in to visit with us during the Summit for informal exchanges.
We came this year with the expectation of engagement with you or your representatives and to give you our assessment of the past year. We were met with indifference and silence. We were promised in our meeting with the planning group of the summit last year that there would be follow-up and dialogue with us. To date, there has been none.
Don’t you want to know what is happening with survivors concerning this issue from around the world? You may recall you ended your 2019 summit by calling for an “all-out battle” against a crime that should be “erased from the face of the earth”. How can you seriously resolve this global crisis without embracing the experience and wisdom from survivors around the world who are actively working to end abuse in the church?
Among the survivors travelling to Rome this year were Argentine deaf survivors of clerical sexual abuse from the Provolo Institute in La Plata and Mendoza, Argentina, who were raped, sexually assaulted and physically tortured by Catholic priests, nuns and lay people employed by the Company of Mary for the Education of the Deaf, a congregation that answers to the Vatican and to you. They requested a public audience with you along with their human rights attorneys and survivor-leaders who sponsored their trip. The request for the public meeting was ignored.
On February 21 they attempted entrance to the Congregation For the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) to request their files of abuse but were denied entrance. They called Monsignor John Kennedy of the CDF to request their files and were unable to speak to him but left him a voice message. Their call has not been returned.
How does your continual, insistent public exhortation that you are listening to survivors and that bishops must do the same, translate into actuality when the response to these deaf survivors is the exact opposite?
We are particularly offended by a report on February 28, 2020 in the Novena News, where Charles Scicluna, the Archbishop of Malta who is also the Adjunct Secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, one of the Vatican’s top investigators of clergy sex abuse, insisted that with new papal initiatives “silence and cover-ups” in the Church are now “a thing of the past”.