Tag Archives: abuse

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizers

Sex abuse survivors to meet with Vatican summit organizersVATICAN CITY (AP) — The organizers of Pope Francis' summit on preventing clergy sex abuse will meet this week with a dozen abuse victims who have descended on Rome to protest the Catholic Church's response to the crisis and demand an end to decades of cover-up by church leaders, officials said Monday.



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Spanish victims of sex abuse priests speak out

Spanish victims of sex abuse priests speak outA trickle of accusations of sexual abuse against priests in schools and seminaries is starting to erode the wall of silence in Catholic Spain, whose Church representatives are set to attend a major Vatican meeting on child protection. “This is only the tip of the iceberg,” warned Miguel Hurtado, who recently made his case public. For 20 years, Hurtado stayed quiet, trying to come to terms with the abuse he suffered when he joined a boy scout troup at the Santa Maria de Montserrat Abbey, which sits high up in jagged mountains northwest of Barcelona.



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Pope's credibility 'on the line' as Vatican convenes global meeting on combating child abuse by clergy

Pope's credibility 'on the line' as Vatican convenes global meeting on combating child abuse by clergyVictims of clerical sex abuse have warned Pope Francis that his credibility is on the line as he confronts the biggest challenge of his papacy with a landmark conference on protecting children from rape and molestation. Nearly 200 bishops, archbishops, patriarchs and other senior Catholic figures from around the world will convene in Rome on Thursday for an unprecedented four-day conference that is supposed to tackle the scourge of child abuse by clergy. It is the biggest effort so far to address scandals that have eroded faith in the Catholic Church in the US, Ireland, Australia and elsewhere. “There’s going to be every effort to close whatever loopholes there are,” said Charles Scicluna, an archbishop from Malta who is one of the organisers of the summit. “This is a new day in terms of transparency. Bishops are going to be held accountable. My hope is that people see this as a turning point.” Members of the survivors' group Ending Clergy Abuse in front of St Peter's Square at the Vatican Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP But victims’ groups are furious that it has taken this long for the Church to organise such a high-profile meeting, pointing out that is has been 17 years since the Boston sex abuse scandal, which lifted the lid on the problem in the Church. They accuse Pope Francis of failing to clearly decree that priests, and the bishops who protect them, should be reported to the police, prosecuted and sent to jail if found guilty of abuse. They say the Vatican has had years to set out clear guidelines to every diocese in the world, instructing them to hand over to the civil authorities any priest accused of abusing children. It has not done so. “Pope Francis has been talking about zero tolerance ever since he was elected. It’s time to deliver on that promise,” said Peter Isely, from Ending Clergy Abuse, a victims’ support group. “There needs to be a universal law for the Church around the world – if you are a priest who rapes or sexually assaults a child, then you are going to be removed from the priesthood. And you are going to be turned over to the authorities and prosecuted and imprisoned.” Peter Isely, founding member of Ending Clergy Abuse, in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican Credit: Gregorio Borgia/AP Survivors of sex abuse are tired of the years of empty rhetoric and lack of action coming from the Vatican. “We’ve been waiting a long time. We’ve waited too long. This is a historic moment. This has never happened before in the history of the Catholic Church. The Pope has acknowledged that this is a global problem in the Church and that’s important. He now has to deliver,” said Mr Isely, speaking in front of St Peter’s Basilica. “They can do something in the next few days that could save a child somewhere in the world from undergoing what we went through as children – these horrible, horrific, terrible crimes.” Peter Saunders, a British victim of sex abuse by priests, said: “This pope is the best public relations pope of our lifetime. He is very media savvy. But his credibility on this issue has been blown away.” The Vatican made Mr Saunders a member of a special commission for the protection of children, but he resigned in protest at how little progress the body made, saying it was “starved of funding”. Around a dozen survivors have been invited to meet the Pope during the conference.  “What we need is action. We need to have a real conversation about this – why is there not zero tolerance for priests who have assaulted children? What’s the hold-up? What’s the problem?” said Mr Isely. The Vatican insists that this time, it means business. Cardinal Blase Cupich, archbishop of Chicago, is one of the organisers of the summit Credit: AP/Gregorio Borgia “It’s going to be a rallying moment,” said Cardinal Blasé Cupich from Chicago, another organiser of the conference. “We want to make sure that bishops claim ownership of the problem.” Archbishop Scicluna vowed that the days of omerta – the code of silence which normally refers to the mafia – were over. “Whether you call it omerta or a state of denial, it’s a no-go. We need to face the facts. This is not the end game but we are going to do everything possible to make people accountable.” On Saturday, Pope Francis defrocked an American cardinal, Theodore McCarrick, for historical sexual abuse allegations. The 88-year-old, a former archbishop of Washington, is the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times.



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Vatican defrocks former US cardinal McCarrick for sex abuse

Vatican defrocks former US cardinal McCarrick for sex abuseVATICAN CITY (AP) — Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick has been found guilty by the Vatican of sex abuse and defrocked, as calls rose Saturday for Pope Francis to reveal what he knew about the once-powerful American prelate's apparently decades-long predatory sexual behavior.



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Sex abuse survivors say Vatican summit must deliver action

Sex abuse survivors say Vatican summit must deliver actionVATICAN CITY (AP) — Roman Catholics who were sexually abused by clergy are insisting that decisive actions to confront the decades-long problem of pedophile priests and church cover-ups must come out of an upcoming Vatican summit.



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Sex abuse survivors say Vatican summit must deliver action

Sex abuse survivors say Vatican summit must deliver actionVATICAN CITY (AP) — Roman Catholics who were sexually abused by clergy are insisting that decisive actions to confront the decades-long problem of pedophile priests and church cover-ups must come out of an upcoming Vatican summit.



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Top US cardinal let priest accused of sexual abuse lead Mass

Top US cardinal let priest accused of sexual abuse lead MassHOUSTON (AP) — The cardinal who leads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops allowed a priest to celebrate Mass the same day his name was among those released on a list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse.



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Vatican magazine denounces sexual abuse of nuns by priests

Vatican magazine denounces sexual abuse of nuns by priestsVATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican's women's magazine is denouncing the sexual abuse of nuns by priests and the resulting scandal of religious sisters having abortions or giving birth to children who are not recognized by their fathers.



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Report: Sen. Joni Ernst says she was sexually assaulted in college, details abuse allegations

Report: Sen. Joni Ernst says she was sexually assaulted in college, details abuse allegationsThe Iowa senator also told Bloomberg about the time her husband allegedly grabbed her by the throat and threw her down during an argument.



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'I did it': Saudi teen fleeing alleged family abuse arrives in Canada as an asylum refugee

'I did it': Saudi teen fleeing alleged family abuse arrives in Canada as an asylum refugeeThe 18-year-old barricaded herself in an airport hotel in Bangkok and took to Twitter when Thai authorities threatened to deport her.



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