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Rome Reports

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Victims of abuse meet with Vatican summit organizers

This Thursday kicks off the summit convoked by Pope Francis on “The protection of minors in the Church.” He will meet with bishops from across the globe to confront the abuse crisis. 

The representatives of survivors organizations have come to Rome to present their demands. The organizing committee for the summit met with some of them. 

The moderator for the summit, Fr. Federico Lombardi, greeted each one of the victims as they arrived. 

It was a private meeting that lasted two hours. Some of the representatives left the session satisfied, whilst others disappointed. 

"It was a very positive meeting. There was a lot of dialogue. There was a lot of good dialogue and good good constructive conversation with everybody, between the cardinals, the archbishops and and between all the survivors. I certainly hope that that there is radical change after the summit. I think it's it's critical I mean we're on borrowed time right now survivors cannot wait any longer."

Founder of Ending Clergy Abuse
“We came into this meeting and first of all Pope Francis wasn't there.”
“So we again said, because we have asked many times, 'we're here.' Well we're here in Rome right now. All of these wonderful advocates, experts, and survivors we're here right now. If he can meet with all those bishops over there to talk about sexual abuses. He can come and meet with us because we will tell him what it is”.

“The purposes for this four-day summit, I think, is mostly an educational session for all bishops around the world. For those who understand what is going on, to make sure they are all on the same page. For those who don't understand bring them up to speed; and let them know that there is going to be expectations of them to live up to.”

Association “Infancia Robada”
“We commented on the great importance not to see the victims and the activists as enemies. We are allies. If today there is a summit it is thanks to the activists. It is to those who denounced and told publicly their stories at their own risk. We have asked Pope Francis at some point to meet with these activist organizations.” “The pope is going to encounter a lot of opposition to these changes. If he does not count on activists, he is not going to achieve it.”

The organizing committee expressed their gratitude for the victims participation. They say the meeting helped them to “better understand the gravity and urgency of the difficulties” they will have to confront during the summit.

Abuse Summit Moderator
“The pope is aware we have had this meeting. We will bring him the conclusions. We have been asked to act with urgency. We didn't speak about new problems. They have underlined their big expectations regarding solutions; and that the Church recognises abuses in all the countries across the world.”

Pope Francis has requested that participating bishops prepare for the summit by meeting with victims. Additionally, the meetings will begin with a video testimony from a victim; and conclude every day with a prayer and testimony from a victim present.