The Vatican summit against abuse commenced with a prayer to the Holy Spirit asking for help in finding solutions.
Afterward, the superior of a religious order recited a prayer asking for further assistance.
“Many have been silent and not been able to ask for help. Additionally, others have spoken, but no one has believed them; or they have been called liars and silenced.”
“We must recognize the wounds of the people and take action so the truth is not suppressed and justice is sought for the wounded.”
Later Pope Francis began the meeting with a brief but intense speech.
“The holy people of God look to us and expect from us not simple and discounted condemnations but concrete and effective measures. We must be concrete.”
In private the 190 participants, most of them presidents of episcopal conferences, watched video testimonies from five victims.
During Thurday's session, the meetings will be dedicated to reflecting on the responsibility of bishops in these abuse situations.