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ROME - As Pope Francis’s high-stakes summit on clerical sexual abuse opens today, perhaps the biggest question pundits and handicappers will be asking is how well the agenda of victims and survivors will fare in the bishops’ deliberations.
The day prior to the opening of the summit, a group of survivors stole the show before the curtain even went up.
Beginning - Abuse - Crisis - Bishops - Church
Since the beginning of the abuse crisis, bishops and other Church officials seeking to turn things around have often touted their listening sessions with victims, and even popes, beginning with Benedict XVI during his 2008 trip to the United States, have gotten into the act. Critics have charged that those victims were often selected precisely because they were tame, unlikely to push back or do much publicly other than expressing gratitude.
On Wednesday, however, a dozen of the world’s most outspoken survivors of clerical abuse and advocates sat down with the summit organizers. Typically, they didn’t all come out saying the same thing … which, in a way, was probably the point.
Survivors - Francis - Presence - Part - Plan
Some of those survivors came away ticked off that Francis himself didn’t show up, even though his presence was never part of the plan. Their irritation boiled over when Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta - the “Eliot Ness” of the Catholic Church, who, as a Vatican prosecutor brought down Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legion of Christ - said in response to various suggestions made by the survivors, “Remember, I’m not the pope.”
The attitude of some survivors about that line boiled down to, “Then why the **** isn’t the pope here?” Others, however, were more inclined to give Francis a break, saying he’s doing what he can and challenging bishops to follow his lead.
Points - Differences - Participants - Meeting - Victim
On other points too, there were clear differences among participants in the meeting. One victim wanted the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Crux
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"Tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive." C.S. Lewis