In a letter, the cardinal writes “we sincerely ask for forgiveness for what we did wrong and for what we failed to do,” calling for “structural renewal necessary to root out from the Church every form of abuse, not only sexual but also of power and conscience.”
The Organizing Committee of the Meeting today meets with the heads of the Curia to implement some proposals. Motu Proprio by Pope Francis announced to prevent and combat abuse. A task force to help episcopal conferences.
At the end of the meeting on the ‘Protection of minors in the Church’, Pope Francis describes the extent of the problem and its significance as an "idolatrous sacrifice of children to the god of power". He cites figures and geographical distribution of abuse in the family, sport, sex tourism, on the web, child brides. Homosexuality is hinted at. The Holy Father thanks the "majority of priests" who are faithful "to their celibacy" and "spend themselves in a ministry today made even more difficult by the scandals of [the] few”.
In the Apostolic Palace’s Sala Regia, the pope and the participants of the meeting on ‘The protection of minors in the Church’ asked for forgiveness. Mgr Philip Naameh, archbishop of Tamale and president of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of Ghana, delivered the homily. The young victim also played a prelude by Johan Sebastian Bach.
On the third day of the Vatican meeting on the ‘Protection of minors in the Church’, the Nigerian nun shows that the scourge of abuse is also present in the countries of the South of the world. Responding to this urgency is part of the Church's mission.
Second report of the day dedicated to "accountability" (having to give an account) to the meeting on "Protection of minors in the Church". The cardinal represents a Church, that of the United States, long struck by accusations of abuse and the silence of the hierarchy. He himself is suspected of silence on the McCarrick case. Structural, legal and institutional reform is necessary.
The Archbishop of Mumbai, accused yesterday by the BBC of superficiality against some abuses, calls on bishops to work in a collegial and synodal manner. No bishop can say: This abuse does not concern me. To favor "fraternal correction", "intercultural communication", "speed of information exchange" to "elaborate opinions and start discussions". What the Church is experiencing is useful for the world. Face the persecution together.
At the Vatican meeting, Card Tagle highlighted "our lack of response to the sufferings of the victims", as well as the fear of getting involved and touching "the wounds of humanity". Justice and forgiveness can heal wounds. Offenders too must be treated. For Mgr Scicluna, established protocols must be implemented and civil laws obeyed. More attention should be paid to the candidates in the selection process for the priesthood. Bishops should be closer to their priests.
Pope Francis introduces the meeting (21-24 February) on the protection of minors from abuses perpetrated by members of the Church. Courage and concrete measures arrived at in a "synodal way". The testimony of an abused boy: "Why did God not listen to me?".
In an official declaration, published by the Holy See Press Office, religious orders express "shame", but also "hope" for the upcoming meeting. Building a new "culture of protection" for children and vulnerable adults, based on health care, formation and spirituality. Ensure that candidates for the religious vocation and the priesthood find "safe places where their vocation is nourished".
Specific issues will be addressed on each day of the event, including episcopal responsibility, accountability, and transparency.