All Nice things were said about the responsibility to victims – listen, take on the journey and responsibility to respond.
We tried to provide listening to victims, heard the cry of young, have guidelines to stimulate discussions which include financial responsibility, relationship between Bishops and Superiors of Religious Congregations, ensuring health community life of priests, etc.
Pope gave a short speech he emphasized listening, Spirit of solidarity and what he expects to happen, a conversion and purification. We need to obtain concrete results. He has prepared a handout of 21 points which will be made into a booklet. Collaboration with all people of goodwill. He will raise marriage age (and change Canon Law), from 14 to 16 (is this progress??? Which century are we living in??)
Training and transferring are dealt with in the 21 pts. Victims will be given easy accessibility to report crimes. Involvement of community is important.
Cardinal Tagle gave the Keynote address. It was his own characteristic and emotional presentation not much different from the one he delivered earlier.
Bp. Sicluna that that the testimonies of victims was sacred ground. The 21 points were concrete proposals to cover all aspects of getting it right. Bishops urged to take ownership as leaders of Church. Cardinal Tagle spoke of the rules of the Risen Christ. Sexual misconduct are crimes that need to go to civil authorities. Move from the culture of silence to a culture of disclosure.
Abp. Cooleridge of Australia said there was a lot of energy and eagerness this morning. We did not know what to expect. We listened to God as we heard each survivor, each story was unique they struck a note.
We have to consider the challenges that come with culture and cultural contexts. They quoted the Indian and African bishops as raising this concern. Some Asian bishops asked why only talk of sexual abuse, why not speak about the abuse of children as child soldiers, child labour, etc. Abp. said we have to be careful not to impose our cultural ideas and view upon them. We have to collaborate with others in finding a solution.
Zolner: I give credit to the survivors who were from all continents, their sharing was searing and brutal. Sharing was followed by 2 mins of silence.
We discussed legal norms together with loopholes, accountability, commitment to work on this. Holy See to give a list for bishops to work on, all responsible in Church to work on this. Call to common action.
Q & A
Did you talk about the link between celibacy and Sex Abuse?
A: The issue has nothing to do with celibacy. This will not be discussed unless it comes from working groups. Protocols will be revised after this meeting. In 2011 all conferences were asked to prepare protocols respecting culture, but some protocols are non-negotiable.
Fox NY: A law firm in NY is releasing names of abusive priests. Are you concerned?
Sicluna – Yes. Are they credible and substantiated? We are for disclosure in the right way, putting out names from only allegations – we are concerned.
Magister: A great majority of people of the same sex in abusive cases – are you omitting homosexuality? Is it deliberate?
A: We cannot claim that any particular group is responsible for sex abuse.
A book is coming out (referring to Martel’s book), can you comment on it?
Sicluna : I have not read it
Philip of AP: Are the Pope’s 21 points commandments? Or Orders?
A: Victims testimony, the meeting with survivors in the evening – have made an impact. Bishops are encouraged to pubish the impact hearing survivors has made on them. The 21 points are a road map, a follow up to the meeting. Policy and law will be based on the 21 points. It is all about motivation.
Journo from Houston: The entire community takes ownership of abuse – part of their thites go towards settlements.
: We are talking about prevention as well. Tomorrow we talk about accountability to victims and community.
AP: St. JP II said there is no place for those who harm young. What are the penalties? What was your answer to the countries that spoke of child soldiers? The Church does not have child soldiers nor child labour? Why does that need to be discussed?
Cooleridge: We hae to be careful not to talk down to people from other cultures as if we come from a position of superiority, we will take it up with sensitivity.. What JP II said is part of our response. A seminarian who is a risk, should not be ordained – if they are foud guilty and are risky we have to talk of penalties like dismissal from the clerical state. We need to have substianted allegations But where they are in home in old age and can do no harm there is no use of punishments as they can do no harm, they are already supervised. The punishment is to be removed from ministry. This has to be decided on a case to case basis.
When will the final document come out? Can’t say.
We should not leave victims without a response. We need to have a safeguarding commission consisting of people who care for victims.
There will be a Pope’s final address – he will talk about the final document??
On Monday there will be a meeting for follow up of specific points.
The handbook will be in the form of ques and ans. It will be made available on the website of this meeting in the next 2 months.
CNN – Raising marriage age to 16 – will canon law also be changed? Yes.
Will it be a message to goverments in countries?
Statistics in the CDF can be published Pope is proposing change I Canon law. In 1982 Episcopal conferences had the power already to make their own changes. This should not be read in a vaccum.
In Africa after girls reach marriage age there is no question of abuse(!!??)
EWTN – Will names of abusers be released? What about the demands made by survivors?
By Listening to survivors it means we are saying yes to certain demands.
People should have access to certain information. We met some survivors yesterday – we can’t ignore their voice.