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Rome Reports

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"Behind the silence in the face of abuse there is fear of scandal, but also corruption"


The third day of the Summit against Abuse was dedicated to transparency.

The person in charge of opening the interventions was the Superior of the Society of the Child Jesus. Sr. Veronica was invited bishops to objectively acknowledge the situation.

SR. VERONICA OPENIBO
Society of the Holy Child Jesus

“The first step toward true transparency is to admit wrongdoing, and then to publish what has been done. I repeat, to publish what has been done. I think some of it has been published. What has been done since the time of Pope John Paul II to heal the situation? It may not be sufficient in the eyes of many, but it will show that the Church had not been totally silent.”

The religious sister asked that transparency apply to all people, also to those who are respectable or in positions of power.

SR. VERONICA OPENIBO
Society of the Holy Child Jesus

“The excuse that respect be given to some priests by virtue of their advanced years and hierarchical position is unacceptable.”

The Cardinal of Munich, Reinhard Marx, also spoke. He denounced the destruction of documents, incriminating priests in some dioceses.

CARD. REINHARD MARX
Archbishop of Munich (Germany)

“The administration has not contributed to fulfilling the mission of the Church. But, on the contrary, has obscured, discredited and made it impossible. Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created.”

The cardinal also proposed four measures in favor of transparency. First, to define the purpose and limits of pontifical secrecy. Second, to let the rules of ecclesiastical processes be known. Third, to communicate the number of cases to the public and lastly to publish judicial summaries.

Mexican journalist Valentina Alazraki also spoke about transparency. She asked the bishops to behave with the Church as a mother would with her child.

VALENTINA ALAZRAKI
Televisa Correspondent

“For this reason, in facing criminal conduct such as the abuse of minors, do you think that to be true to herself, an institution like the Church can have another way, if not that of reporting this crime? That she can have another way, if not that of being on the side of the victim and not that of the oppressor? Who is the weakest, most vulnerable child? The priest who abused, the bishop who abused and covered up, or the victim?”

She reminded them the only motive that leads to not being transparent is the desire to hide something negative and corrupt, the opposite of the Gospel message.

VALENTINA ALAZRAKI
Televisa Correspondent

“Behind the silence, the lack of healthy, transparent communication, quite often there is not only the fear of scandal, concern for the institution’s good name, but also money, compensation, gifts, construction permits for schools and universities, perhaps in areas where construction was not permitted.”

The journalist told participants that in addressing the scandals of abuse against religious women by clergy, they have the opportunity to take the place of victims and the Church can truly clean up from within.