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.

CNN News

Historic Vatican summit on clergy sexual abuse begins

Rome (CNN)Pope Francis began an unprecedented summit in Rome to confront the Catholic Church's clergy abuse scandal by saying that Catholics are not looking for simple condemnation, but concrete actions.

"In the face of this scourge of sexual abuse perpetrated by men of the church to the detriment of minors, I thought I would summon you," the Pope told the nearly 200 Catholic leaders gathered in Vatican City, "so that all together we may lend an ear and listen to the Holy Spirit ... and to the cry of the small who are asking for justice."

Catholic News Service

At summit, survivors expose 'cancer' of clergy sex abuse

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "Every time I refused to have sex with him, he would beat me," an abuse survivor from Africa told Pope Francis and bishops attending the Vatican summit on child protection and the abuse crisis.

The meeting began Feb. 21 with the harrowing stories of survivors of sexual abuse, cover-up and rejection by church officials.

The pre-recorded testimonies of five survivors were broadcast in the synod hall; the Vatican did not disclose their names, but only whether they were male or female and their country of origin.

The Boston Pilot

Vatican Summit Opens with Acknowledgement of Evil Committed

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Opening the Vatican summit on child protection and the clerical sexual abuse crisis, Pope Francis said, "The holy people of God are watching and are awaiting from us not simple, predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures" to stop abuse.

The summit meeting Feb. 21-24 brought together almost 190 church leaders: the presidents of national bishops' conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches, superiors of some men's and women's religious orders and top Vatican officials.

Massachusetts Catholic Conference

Bishops of Massachusetts to the Catholics of the Commonwealth

We write as your pastors; we write also at a critical moment for the Catholic Church in Massachusetts, in the nation and throughout the world.  The issue which confronts us all, but especially confronts us as bishops, is the sexual abuse crisis that has again enveloped the life of the Church. 

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

Catholic Bishops’ Pro-Life Chairman Urges Senate Vote and Passage of Born -Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act

February 5, 2019

WASHINGTON–Last night, the Senate failed to adopt by unanimous consent the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act—legislation that would ensure that a child born alive following an abortion would receive the same degree of care to preserve her life and health as would be given to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann, chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Pro-Life Activities, issued the following statement in response: