Pope to open summit on clerical child sex abuse crisis

Pope Francis called the meeting in September

Pope Francis called the meeting in September

They acted under cover of night early Thursday to protest the failure of the Polish Catholic Church to deal with the problem of sex abuse by priests.

But it is also true that the clerical sex abuse and coverup crisis - at least in the United States - was born out of a homosexual subculture that for decades spread like a cancer through seminaries, allowing men like Theodore McCarrick to corrupt "generations of seminarians and priests", as Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò said in his original testimony.

Victims of sexual abuse say the Vatican has hidden behind these walls, when they should have been cracking down on predator priests.

The second video testimony came from a lady, from Africa, who answered the question "What hurt you most in life?" by saying: "From the age of 15 I had sexual relations with a priest".

The Catholic church considers the practice of homosexuality to be a sin.

"The holy People of God look to us, and expect from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken", Francis stressed Thursday in the Vatican, as almost 200 clerics began debating ways to respond to the emergency.

A report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania a year ago revealed that priests had sexually abused about 1,000 people over seven decades in that U.S. state alone. She said "when a person loves someone they think of their future, of their good".

As part of his address, the Pontiff called on the Holy Spirit to help the Church over the coming days to transform the "evil" of abuse into an opportunity for its members to take stock of the situation.

"May the Virgin Mary enlighten us to try to cure the serious wounds that the scandal of paedophilia has caused both in children and in believers".

Rare 'extinct' Galápagos tortoise found after 100 years
But officials now believe there could be more of the tortoises, based on traces and excrement in other areas of the island. While on their trek the group found the tortoise scat and identified it positively as belonging to the Fernandina.

Survivors of clerical pedophilia related their traumatic experiences to the world's top bishops on Thursday, February 22, at a landmark summit at the Vatican on the protection of minors.

How is the Church addressing the abuse?

After the Pope spoke on Thursday morning, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, the Archbishop of Manila in the Philippines, gave a spiritual talk centered on healing wounds and providing justice for survivors of sexual abuse. Realizing he had erred, he has vowed to chart a new course and is bringing the rest of the church leadership along with him.

Some groups of survivors have voiced scepticism that any concrete action will be taken during the event, calling it a publicity stunt aimed at cleansing the image of the Church.

"That needs to be written into the universal law of the Church".

Although progress has been made in some countries, in other places it is still not considered to be a priority.

Activists in Poland have pulled down a statue of a disgraced late priest after increasing allegations that he sexually abused minors.

Earlier this month, an 88-year-old former cardinal was defrocked in the USA over claims of abuse, the most senior Catholic figure to be dismissed from the priesthood in modern times.

"The abuse of minors by ordained ministers has inflicted wounds not only on the victims, but also on their families, the clergy, the church, the wider society, the perpetrators themselves and the bishops", Tagle said.

Latest News