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

Pope ‘ashamed’ by Church’s failure to listen to abuse survivors

In a letter to Catholics in Chile, Pope Francis expressed shame for the Church’s failure to listen and defend survivors of sexual abuse at the hands of the clergy.

Released by the Chilean bishops’ conference on 31st May, the letter from the pope said that the time of “revision and purification” in the Church was possible through the efforts of abuse survivors “who, against all hope or painted as discredited, did not tire of looking for the truth.”

They are “victims whose cries reached to heaven. I would like to once again publicly thank all of them for the courage and perseverance,” the pope wrote.

The Vatican announced earlier in the day that “the pope will send the president of the Chilean bishops’ conference a letter written personally by him and addressed to all the people of God, as he had promised the bishops.”

The Vatican also announced that Pope Francis will send Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta and Fr Jordi Bertomeu Farnos back to Chile and visit the Diocese of Osorno “with the aim of advancing the process of reparation and healing of abuse victims.”