Scant progress on reforms after Vatican’s abuse summit
Vatican City, Feb 21 : A year has passed since a historic summit in the Vatican where Bishops and Cardinals listened to victims of abuse, but little progress has been made in the way of reforms since the unprecedented meeting, a media report said on Friday.
On February 21, 2019, over the course of a week, 190 representatives of Catholic Church gathered with the intention to agree on specific measures in response to allegations of abuse within the institution, the Efe news report said.
But activists and victims and survivors organizations, while welcoming Pope Francis’ move, have said that much remains to be done.
Priest Hans Zollner, a member of the summit’s organizing committee and the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors created by Pope Francis, told Efe news that following the summit, several laws were enacted to combat cases of abuse.
When asked about the dissatisfaction among activists that enough has not been done, Zollner said that victims recognize the church has embarked on a long journey.
“Not much has been done. There has been an impulse, a lever on the part of Pope Francis and his close collaborators, but in general and, especially in Spain, it is not enough,” Juan Cuatrecasas, the father of a victim and president of Infancia Robada (Stolen Childhood) association told Efe news.
“We are halfway there, it is the best that can be said after a year,” Matthias Katsch, a victim of abuse by a priest and one of the founders of the Ending Clergy Abuse network, said in a meeting with the international press in Rome.
“Victims are talking more with the press, which is reporting on it. It is a first step. We know that the Church itself will not change things, public opinion has to pile on the pressure, and for that, it is very important that survivors talk.”
Those responsible for Bishop Accountability applauded the steps taken by the pontiff but pointed out that it has not had the same impact in all countries.
In its report the organization said that 50 per cent of reported cases had been aired thanks to investigations by members of the media, adding that the Church had not issued internal reports nor had any plans to give victims compensation.