Disappointed. Dismayed. Distressed. Getting close to disgusted.
This is a statement from Alessandro Gisotti, the Interim Director of the Holy See’s Press Office. The statement addresses the aims of Pope Francis’ abuse summit next month at the Vatican.
1) It is to be a meeting “on the protection of minors” exclusively? Absolutely unacceptable. This meeting must address the abuse of any of God’s children regardless of their age.
2) It is to be an “assembly of pastors not an academic conference.” Yes, the meeting should certainly include prayer and discernment. But by making this an exclusively pastoral gathering, the Pope is avoiding and excluding the input of many important groups: survivors (!!!), lay men and women, psychologists, experts in abuse detection, prevention & treatment, and members of law enforcement.
3) This meeting is a “stage along the painful journey” and part of the Church’s “unceasing and decisive” work on this issue for “over 15 years”?!!!! The only unceasing work seems to have been the cover up. The only decisive action has been covering up the cover up. Most everything else has been arbitrary, inconsistent, deceitful, apathetic and ineffective.
According to this statement, these bishops coming to Rome are to leave with an understanding of “the laws to be applied” and how they must “take the necessary steps to prevent abuse, to care for the victims, and to make sure that no case is covered up or buried.”
Given how obtuse our Church and Her leaders have been regarding the aforementioned laws (all readily accessible and applicable) and (simple and straightforward) steps, how can we expect a 3-day meeting to accomplish these goals?
The statement mentions “high expectations” for this meeting. I have no such high expectations. I’m trying to not even have any expectations. I will pray, but it is hard to hope. Jesus, help us. We trust in You… even when it is so very hard.
Full news release from the Vatican available here: