The Boston Pilot

Harming a child must be "line in the sand" for removal, Cardinal says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- For the Catholic Church, there is a "line in the sand," which can never be crossed, and that is to not allow anyone who harms or would harm a child to exercise public ministry, said Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston.

In fact, removing someone from public ministry for abuse should be seen not so much as a punitive act as much as it is an urgent pastoral and "prudential" measure to keep young people safe, added Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta.

Catholic News Service

Cardinal: Can the church step up, lead way in protecting children?

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Only together, by humbly sharing their experiences, encouragement and corrective advice, can the bishops and leaders in the Catholic Church work to prevent the abuse of minors and help bring healing to survivors, said the head of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of India.

Church leaders also must cooperate fully with local authorities because the sexual abuse of minors is also "criminal behavior," not just a violation of divine and church law, said Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, India.

National Public Radio

'A Life Destroyed': Survivors And Pope Address Clergy Sex Abuse At Vatican Summit

Thursday at the Vatican, Pope Francis stood before some 200 participants in an unprecedented summit on preventing clergy sex abuse and said Catholics are seeking not simply "condemnations" but "concrete, effective measures."

But a crisis that has crossed borders and generations, lacerating the church and shaking the pope's credibility, is standing in the way as he seeks to forge a path ahead.

The Boston Pilot

Cardinal Cupich asks for new structure to ensure Bishops' accountability

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church needs "new legal structures of accountability" for bishops accused of sexual abuse or of negligence in handling abuse allegations, Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago told the Vatican summit on safeguarding.

Addressing Pope Francis and some 190 presidents of bishops' conferences, heads of Eastern Catholic churches, religious superiors and officials of the Roman Curia Feb. 22, Cardinal Cupich provided details of what some people have described as a "metropolitan model" of accountability, although he insisted the model would involve laypeople.


A Global Look at the Catholic Church's Sex Abuse Problem

Pope Francis' high-stakes sex abuse prevention summit is meant to call attention to the crisis as a global problem that requires a global response.

His decision was sparked by the realization that in many parts of the world, bishops and religious superiors continue to deny or play down the severity of the scandal and protect their priests and the reputation of the church at all costs.

Much of the developing world has largely escaped a public explosion of the scandal, as have conflict zones and countries where Catholics are a minority.


As Summit Starts, Pope Offers 21 Proposals to Fight Sex Abuse

Pope Francis opened a landmark sex abuse prevention summit Thursday by offering senior Catholic leaders 21 proposals to punish predators and keep children safe, warning that the faithful are demanding concrete action and not just words.

The tone for the high stakes, four-day summit was set at the start, with victims from five continents — Europe, Africa, Asia, South America and North America — telling the bishops of the trauma of their abuse and the additional pain the church's indifference caused them.

Catholic News Service

Clericalism, abuse of power, at heart of sex abuse crisis, cardinal says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The abuse crisis in the Catholic Church is a call for bishops to unmask the deep-seated clericalism that placed protection of the institution of the church above the sufferings of victims, said the head of the council of Latin American bishops.

Addressing Pope Francis and nearly 190 representatives of the world's bishops and religious orders Feb. 21, Colombian Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez of Bogota, president of the council known as CELAM, said that bishops must recognize that "serious errors" in the exercise of authority have "increased the severity of the crisis."

NBC News

WORLD Pope Francis at sex abuse summit: 'Listen to the cry of the young who want justice' Catholic officials in many parts of Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia still deny that clergy sex abuse exists or downplay the problem.

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis urged bishops to “listen to the cry of the children who ask for justice” as an unprecedented meeting on the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse by priests opened on Thursday.

Around 190 leaders of bishops conferences and religious orders were summoned to the Vatican by the pontiff with one aim: regain credibility in the eyes of the world, and of the many victims of abuse.

Francis called abuse a "scourge" and said victims expected "concrete and efficient measures" to address the scandal.

“The saintly people of God are looking at us," he added.

ABC 7 Eyewitness News

Rome summit on Catholic church sex abuse set to begin, survivors watching closely


Each day of the historic summit inside the Vatican will focus on a theme related to the sex abuse crisis: responsibility, accountability, and transparency.

Pope Francis will be involved in all the sessions, for which nearly 200 bishops have come from around the world, including Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich. The goal is to stop the crisis in the church. They'll hear firsthand from those whose lives were damaged by it.

"My whole life changed the day that that happened," said Larry Antonsen, abuse survivor.


As Pope Holds Sex Abuse Summit, U.S. Catholics Not Hopeful For 'Bold Moves'

Never in the history of the Roman Catholic Church has a pope ordered bishops from around the world to come together and consider how many priests abuse children sexually and how many church officials cover for the abusers. The scandal of clergy sex abuse has deep roots in church history, but church leaders have been notoriously reluctant to acknowledge it and deal with the consequences.