FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The recent statement against the Vatican of the Committee for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child confirms, with the authority of the structure of the United Nations, what has been known for some time and which victims of sexual abuses have denounced for years.
The International Movement We Are Church (IMWAC) has been part of the international mobilization on this very serious issue and share the position of the Committee, concerning how the Vatican has dealt, in the majority of cases, with the issue of pedophile priests in the Catholic Church. The attempts to minimize the responsibility of too many Church leaders are at odds with reality; reports and judgments from different countries now make this very clear.
We know that the responsibility for this situation is not individual priests or bishops only, but goes back to the central structures of the Church. The Vatican had the serious responsibility of having tried to wash the dirty linen at home, and in this way it was washed very badly or not at all, and certainly too late.
Pope Francis needs to be uncompromising and to take action very quickly. The decision to establish an ad hoc committee is completely inadequate. There is a need for a directive, which should impose to the Bishops' Conferences in the different countries obligations of transparency and publicity. Church authorities should be obliged to accept, request and support the prosecution of the alleged perpetrators by the judiciary.
These obligations were, and are still, stubbornly refused by the CEI, the Italian Bishops Conference, as confirmed in the recent meeting of its Permanent Council, despite that pedophilia crimes have been committed by the clergy in Italy not less than in other countries.
As believers in the gospel and members of this Church we are deeply saddened by this situation, which makes us suffer and for which we pray.
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The International Movement We Are Church, founded in Rome in 1996, is represented in more than twenty countries on all continents and is networking world-wide with similar-minded reform groups. We Are Church is an international movement within the Roman-Catholic Church and aims at renewal on the basis of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). We Are Church was started in Austria in 1995 with a church referendum.