Statement from Voices of Faith regarding letter from preparatory committee to participants of the February Head’s Of Bishops meeting on clerical abuse

The Vatican published the letter of the preparatory committee to the participants of the February meeting in Rome “La protezione dei minori nella Chiesa”.

We appreciate the fact that this letter has been made public – it is a step toward transparency that is so urgently needed in the Church’s response to the ever-growing abuse crisis. It has became very clear that the Church hierarchy will not solve this problem alone, as the crisis importantly involves hierarchical power, including the deception and cover up that has occurred for decades.

We were surprised and disappointed to read in the letter that the questionnaire that was mentioned to send to survivors, remained confidential. We still do not know, what are the exact issues and questions the February meeting will be dealing with. As faithful people of God and of the Catholic Church, we would like to understand how exactly the bishops invited to the meeting, and the committee itself, understand the problem of the abuse crisis and what intentions they have to deal with it. We would like to urgently know the precise agenda of the meeting.

The letter also mentions the need of encounter with abuse survivors by each bishop, in their regions, prior to the February meeting. It is crucial indeed, but perhaps encouraging is not enough. We would like to see such consultation not only as obligatory for each and every participant of the meeting, but also as a part of the February agenda itself. Without beginning with sincere and attentive listening to survivors and experts who work with them, no bishops meeting will bring even a small change. Survivors need time, attention, and understanding. Survivors finally need justice.

To view the letter from the Vatican, please click the link below:]

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