February 6, 2012.
) The pope has written to conference participants on how to deal with cases of sexual abuse and asked them to put first the needs of abuse victims
It's the key point of the conference “Towards Healing and Renewal”
, organized by the Gregorian University in Rome, and actively supported by the Vatican.
The audience will include bishops from 110 episcopal conferences and more than 30 superiors of religious orders. The goal is to teach them how to help victims of abuse and explain what to do with priests and religious who commit these crimes.Hans Zollner
President, Congress “Towards Healing and Renewal” “You have all come to give a clear signal of the will and the duty of the Church to firmly change the way to behave when faced against evil, sin and the crime of sexual abuse within the Church and in society.”
The conference was opened by Cardinal William Joseph Levada
, who serves as prefect of the Doctrine of the Faith. He's responsible for responding to these crimes on behalf of the Vatican.
He believes that the response of the Church must have many layers. The first response should be to help victims
. Also a safe environment should be created for children, as well as programs aimed at the development of priests, and cooperating with civil authorities
.Card. William Joseph Levada
Prefect, Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith“The more than 4,000 cases of sexual abuse of minors reported to the CDF in the past decade have revealed, on the one hand, the inadequacy of an exclusively canonical (or canon law) response to this tragedy, and on the other, the necessity of a truly multi-faceted response.”
The cardinal recalled that abuse is also a civil offense and that the Church must cooperate with the law
, saying these cases should be taken to the appropriate authorities.