Really? You’re going to get serious about this NOW? And with a symposium, no less. You guys are really pulling out all the stops, huh?
Denial is no longer an option, official says ahead of major symposium on pedophilia.
The Roman Catholic Church has sometimes been in denial over the sexual abuse of children by clergy but must now move forward to face up to the scandal, the Vatican’s top official for the issue said Friday.
Monsignor Charles Scicluna said in an interview he hoped a major symposium on pedophilia to be held next week in Rome would encourage church leaders from around the world to listen more to the victims.
“Denial is a very primitive way of coping with very sad things,” said Scicluna, whose formal title is Justice Promoter.
“Denial will never be a good response. I will not deny that we have been in denial. I think that people know that. But people need to know that we have to move forward from that very primitive coping mechanism. It doesn’t work,” he said.
The four-day symposium next week at the Jesuit Pontifical Gregorian University, called Towards Healing and Renewal, will bring together about 200 people including bishops, leaders of religious orders, victims of abuse and psychologists.
The participants will discuss how the worldwide church can become more aware of the problem, make a commitment to listen to victims and prevent future cases of abuse. Scicluna said the symposium would stress that this “was not only a sin but a crime.”
“Sharing the same hurt, suffering, anger and at times frustration, is also a very important step in taking a determined outlook and determined standpoint, which can be also a good and beneficial example to others,” he said.
The Vatican has for years been struggling to control the damage that sexual abuse scandals in the United States and several European countries, including Pope Benedict’s native Germany, have done to the church’s image.
Groups representing abuse victims say the church must do more to own up to the past, when known pedophile priests were shuttled from parish to parish instead of being defrocked or turned over to authorities. It must also make greater efforts to prevent future cases, they say, accusing the church and the Vatican of a cover-up.
Scicluna said the church had sent out “a very clear message” that bishops must follow civil law on pedophilia cases. “Jurisdictions differ concerning the way that you report crime. When crime has happened and the civil authorities justifiably ask for co-operation and request co-operation, the church cannot decline that co-operation. Concerning reporting mechanisms, our strong advice is to follow the law of the country concerned,” he said.
At the symposium, the church will unveil ways it plans to turn to the Internet with an e-learning centre to help safeguard children and the victims of molestation.
The learning centre will work with medical institutions and universities to develop what the church hopes will be a constant response to the problems of sexual abuse.
It will be posted in German, English, French, Spanish and Italian and help bishops and other church workers put into place Vatican guidelines to protect children.
Complete Article HERE!