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New Zealand child abuse survivors call for intervention from Pope Francis

Pope Francis New Zealand
Title: New Zealand child abuse survivors call for intervention from Pope Francis
Author: Praveen Menon
Publisher: Reuters
Date: 13SEP2022

SYDNEY, Sept 13 (Reuters) – A New Zealand group representing survivors of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has called on Pope Francis to intervene in the redress process, claiming that church authorities were mishandling it and retraumatising victims.

In a letter sent to the Vatican and seen by Reuters, the New Zealand chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), a global organisation for child abuse victims, accused church officials in New Zealand of breaching procedures for managing abuse complaint cases.

“Most sadly, we are being harmed by the very Church office set up to provide healing,” Christopher Longhurst, the National Leader for SNAP Aotearoa New Zealand, said in his letter to the Pope.

Longhurst said in the letter that while publicly the leaders of the local Catholic church extend an “open hand to the hope of healing”, behind closed doors they traumatise survivors a second time by violating their own procedures.

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