CAMPAIGNERS have slammed the Pope after he failed to apologise for paedophile priests and said most abuse occurs in the family.
Pope Francis ended his four day summit on preventing clergy sex abuse by vowing to confront abusers with “the wrath of God”.
Pope Francis speaking at the end of the abuse summit in Rome
In a speech to 190 cardinals and bishops gathered in Rome, he called for an “all-out battle” against a crime that should be “erased from the face of the earth”.
But he angered victims of abuse and campaigners by saying that most abuse occurs in the families
They also claimed he repeated old promises and offered few new concrete proposals to tackle the problem.
Italian abuse survivor Alessandro Battaglia cried in St Peter’s Square along with other victims.
“I did not hear a ‘sorry’, I didn’t hear anything, anything concrete, nothing that was fair,” he said.
“It is they who destroyed us. This isn’t enough, we are not satisfied.”
Becky Ianni, who was molested by her family priest when she was eight, said: “He could fire any bishop or cardinal that covers up abuse that would protect children.”
But she told ABC, instead he talked about how “we’re going to how we’re going to use penance and prayer”.
“While those are nice sentiments, none of those things are going to protect children right now,” Ianni, a board member of Survivors’ Network of Those Abused by Priests, said in an interview with NPR.
It is they who destroyed us. This isn’t enough, we are not satisfiedAbuse survivor Alessandro Battaglia
Anne Barrett-Doyle of the US-based clergy abuse tracking group bishopaccountability.org, called the Pope’s words a “stunning letdown”.
“As the world’s Catholics cry out for concrete change, the Pope instead provides tepid promises, all of which we’ve heard before.
“Especially distressing was the Pope’s familiar rationalisation that abuse happens in all sectors of society.
“We needed him to offer a bold and decisive plan. He gave us instead defensive, recycled rhetoric.”
The four day summit heard the anonymous testimony of eight victims who recounted their experience of abuse.
But the Vatican has no idea of if the victims’ abusers are still active as priests, a main organiser of the summit told CBC News.
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Father Hans Zollner said none of the people who gave testimony told the Vatican who their abusers were or where their cases had been dealt with.
“They went to great effort not to reveal any detail,” Zollner said.
“In some cases the family doesn’t know that they have been abused. In some places it would destroy the family. It would destroy their professional career and so forth.”
Reuters Alessandro Battaglia was left in tears by the Pope’s speech
SURVIVORS SPEAK OUT: “He could fire any bishop or cardinal that covers up abuse & that would protect children,“ says Becky Ianni, molested by her family priest when she was 8. “Instead, we’re seeing (the Pope) talking about how we’re going to use penance and prayer.” #survivor pic.twitter.com/RzrjhEcAuX— Richard Reeve (@abc7Richard) February 24, 2019
EPA Protesters gathered outside St Peter’s in Rome
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