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ROME - Yesterday I described this as “Super Bowl week” in the Vatican, in the sense that the pope’s keenly-anticipated summit on the clerical sexual abuse scandals opening Thursday has drawn media, activists and onlookers from all over the world to the Eternal City, creating energy and anticipation leading up to the big event.
Here’s a rundown of some of the sights and sounds of this week in Rome on Tuesday, which capture only a random sampling of everything that’s on offer this week.
Veteran - Journalist - Maria - Antonietta - Calabrò
Veteran Italian journalist Maria Antonietta Calabrò dispatched a tweet Tuesday morning saying on that day, Rome’s Foreign Press Club became a “counter-altar” to the Vatican Press Office and its spin operation around the pope’s summit.
Two different events took place at the Foreign Press Club, both featuring dissident voices: A morning news conference staged by Bishop Accountability, a watchdog group on the clerical abuse scandals, and an afternoon event by Voices of the Faith, another activist group promoting the empowerment of women within the Catholic Church.
Bishop - Accountability - Event - Ann - Barrett
At the Bishop Accountability event, Ann Barrett Doyle, the group’s director, appeared with Phil Saviano, an abuse survivor who worked with the Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team.
The two raised questions about prelates taking part in the pope’s summit, asserting that they include “an archbishop who estimates that only one percent of his country’s priests have abused children, the head of a vast archdiocese who claims to have dealt with only one abusive priest, a cardinal who runs an archdiocese in the world’s largest Catholic country but has never spoken publicly about the crisis, and a cardinal who has kept in ministry at least three accused priests.”
Suggestion - Personalities - Part - Record - Doubt
The suggestion, obviously, was that some of the key personalities taking part have a mixed record, casting doubt on the results they may generate.
As for the Voices of Faith event,...
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