In discussion with those affected

In discussion with those affected

Reinhard Cardinal Marx in conversation © Markus Nowak (KNA)

Cardinal Reinhard Marx met with international representatives of victims of abuse this Friday during the bishops' meeting at the Vatican. Marx would also pass on the experiences and concerns of those to Pope Francis.

As part of the anti-abuse summit at the Vatican, Cardinal Reinhard Marx met with international representatives of victims on Friday. The discussion in Rome with 16 members of the network "Ending Clergy Abuse" (ECA) lasted about one and a half hours, the spokesman of the German Bishops' Conference, Matthias Kopp, announced afterwards. Marx had primarily listened to the experiences of those affected; in addition, they had discussed the understanding of "zero tolerance".

In the evening, Marx also wanted to inform Pope Francis about the discussion and bring greetings, Kopp said. The spontaneous meeting was organized by the German representative at ECA, Matthias Katsch from the "Eckiger Tisch", and Kopp.

Own events of the victims' associations

Victims of abuse and representatives of associations such as ECA and the US initiative "BishopAccountability.org" accompany the worldwide meeting of bishops this week with their own events. Thus, they demand a worldwide uniform "zero tolerance" policy against abuse and its cover-up, as well as adequate compensation.

The associations also criticized in advance that their representatives would not be heard at the bishops' meeting. On Wednesday, there was a meeting between twelve ECA representatives and the organizers of the Vatican summit, which was also arranged at short notice. The atmosphere of the conversation was open, even if there were partly different ideas on both sides about the duration and feasibility of measures, participants said afterwards.

Publish data on abuse worldwide

For the first time, concrete legal proposals discussed at Vatican anti-abuse summit. The Vatican also wants to inform in the near future about the number of all clergy who were punished for sexual abuse of minors under church law. This was announced on Friday by the Pope's chief investigator for sexual crimes, Archbishop Charles Scicluna.

The Roman Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, where all cases of sexual abuse by Catholic clergy have been tried for nearly 20 years, is working to capture and release the relevant statistical data, Scicluna explained.

U.S. Cardinal Blase Cupich from Chicago presented a twelve-point plan on Friday to supplement and tighten existing canonical norms. According to this, it should be possible to remove bishops who have failed in dealing with abuse.

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