Nun vents anger at Vatican abuse summit

She delivered her talk at the start of the penultimate day of a Vatican summit of some 200 senior Church officials convened by Pope Francis to confront what he has called the scourge of sexual abuse by the clergy.

In Ireland, where Francis spoke to a crowd of almost 50,000 at the rain-soaked Knock shrine in the country's west, the Pope "begged for God's forgiveness" after he was accused of personally ignoring allegations of pedophilia made against senior clergy members of the Irish church.

The Pope called for the summit last September amid a resurgent abuse crisis that has eroded the church's credibility - while raising questions about earlier efforts at reform.

Speaking to the assembly the next morning, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India, passionately refuted the idea that sex abuse was only an issue for some regions.

Last week, the former cardinal and archbishop of Washington DC Theodore McCarrick was dismissed from the priesthood after the Vatican found that he had been guilty of sexual abuse of minors and adults over decades.

Francis summoned 190 bishops and religious superiors for the four-day tutorial on preventing abuse and protecting children after the scandal erupted again previous year in Chile and the U.S.

Pointing out that "Abuses against minors are neither rumours nor gossip: they are crimes", Alazraki told those present she would like them "to leave this hall with the conviction that we journalist are neither those who abuse nor those who cover up".

"The Holy people of God are watching and waiting not for simple and obvious condemnations but concrete and efficient measures", he said in a short opening statement. 'What we hope most for is that tomorrow, during conclusions, that the Holy Father will give us the concrete guidelines to follow'.

Alazraki, who is Mexican, has reported on papal activities since 1974, travelling on 100 of Pope Saint John Paul II's 104 apostolic journeys as well as all those undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI and by Pope Francis.

'How could the clerical church have kept silent, covering these atrocities?' she asked. And a gossipy 550-page book was set for release purporting to lift the veil on the double lives inside the Vatican, one of the biggest gay communities in the world.

"He was friendly, affable, different from most priests", recalls Huggins.

The pope and the participants watched a video of five victims, most of whom wished to remain anonymous, telling painful stories of abuse and cover-up.

Besides calling for "zero tolerance" for sex abuse in the church, she says it's vital that other survivors take note.

Based on public reporting and criminal prosecutions, BishopAccountability says it appears that no priests sexually abuse children in the Philippines, a scenario Barrett Doyle calls patently unrealistic.

But following an outcry, he had introduced a probe that led to every bishop in Chile submitting his resignation, though only a few of these were accepted.

The abuse crisis has made 2018 one of the toughest years for the pope since his election in 2013.

However, the abusive priests or men who covered-up these incidents were not removed from their positions. As bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years, he oversaw 32 of the 99 accused. According to the current organisational structure of Catholicism, local bishops are autonomous in their diocese, although church tradition allows metropolitans to have some jurisdiction. About 17 million Catholic households in the country donate an average $10 each week, totaling about $9 billion each year. In the latest case, a group supporting victims of paedophile priests in Poland on Thursday released a report documenting almost 400 cases of sex abuse by clerics in the staunchly Catholic nation.

In 2002, the discovery that the sex abuse by Catholic priests was widespread across the United States had received significant media coverage.

  • Joey Payne