Three Chilean abuse survivors who met with Pope Francis said his apology to them must be accompanied by concrete actions, not only against those who commit sexual abuse, but against those who cover it up.
“I have never seen someone be so contrite about what he was telling me,” Juan Carlos Cruz told journalists on 2nd May. “I also felt that he was hurting, which for me was very solemn. I don’t know what word to use because it’s not often the pope really says sorry to you and apologises to you. He said, ‘I was part of the problem, I caused this and I’m sorry.'”
Jose Andres Murillo, another of the Chilean survivors, said, “All of us had different experiences with the pope, and even if we saw the forgiveness the pope asked, we’re waiting for actions.
“We always said that we’re not here to do public relations but for actions,” Murillo said. “That’s what I’m waiting for.”
Pope Francis had invited Cruz, Murillo and James Hamilton to stay at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where he lives, and to meet with him individually from 27th to 29th April. They met him again as a group on 30th April.
Picture: Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo prepare to speak to the media at the Foreign Press Association building in Rome on 2nd May. (CNS photo/Paul Haring).