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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Bishops asked to meet abuse survivors before February meeting

Before travelling to Rome for a major Vatican summit on the clerical sex abuse crisis and child protection, each participating bishop should meet with survivors of abuse, said the committee organising the meeting.

‘The first step must be acknowledging the truth of what has happened. For this reason, we urge each episcopal conference president to reach out and visit with victim survivors of clergy sex abuse in your respective countries prior to the meeting in Rome to learn first-hand the suffering that they have endured,’ said the organising committee’s letter, released by the Vatican today, 18th December.

The pope had announced in September that he was calling the presidents of the world’s bishops conferences, the heads of the Eastern Catholic churches and representatives of the leadership groups of men and women religious orders to the Vatican from 21st to 25th February to address the crisis.

Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said having participants meet first with survivors “is a concrete way of putting victims first and acknowledging the horror of what happened.

“The meeting on the protection of minors,” he said, “will focus on three main themes: responsibility, accountability and transparency.”

Picture: Pope Francis announced in September that he was calling the Church leaders to the Vatican.