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Rome Reports

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Card. Tagle and Arch. Scicluna: victims must not be ignored and the law respected

At the beginning of the Vatican Summit Against Abuse, both Card. Luis Antonio Tagle and Arch. Charles Scicluna opened up the discussion on the responsibilities of bishops in dealing with abuse. 

Cardinal Tagle said that like the apostles, bishops should not be afraid to look and touch the wounds of Christ in the people abused. He also stressed the need to assist both the victim and the perpetrator. 

Archbishop of Manila (Philippines)
“Regarding victims, we need to help them to express their deep hurts and to heal from them. Regarding the perpetrators, we need to serve justice, help them to face the truth without rationalization, and at the same time not neglect their inner world, their own wounds.”

He noted the great suffering of abuse victims and the need to never avoid and take seriously their pain. 

The session was followed on with Arch. Charles Scicluna's speech, former Vatican prosecutor general against abuses. He presented the main phases bishops should follow in practically addressing sexual abuse. 

Organizing Committee Member
“It is essential that the community be advised that they have the duty and the right to report sexual misconduct to a contact person in a diocese or a religious order. These contact details should be in the public domain.”

He stressed the importance always for protocols established to be respected; and civil and domestic laws to be obeyed.

Thursday's session will continue with working groups examining bishops responsibilities, it will conclude with a prayer and a testimony from an abuse survivor.