The historic summit to address the issue of child abuse by clergy that begins Thursday in the Vatican It is forcing all religious leaders to align themselves with a certain spirit of catharsis. Although it is at the last minute and on the bell. This morning, in an unusual gesture to date, male and female Catholic congregations and orders issued a joint statement admitting to covering up cases of abuse. "The strong sense of family in our Orders and Congregations can make it difficult to condemn or denounce abuse." This led to unjustified allegiance, errors in judgment, slowness in acting, denying facts and sometimes concealing them. we feel in need of conversion and we want to change. "
Many of the congregations that now adhere to the communiqué have repeatedly denied their involvement in cases of this type. But now, at the doors of the historic meeting in which 190 religious leaders (bishops, presidents of episcopal conferences, curial …) will participate, the associations that group Superiors and Superiors from around the world (UISG and USG) recognize "humbly who have not always "acted correctly in cases of abuse.
The document, released by the Vatican press office, admits that they have experienced repeated cases of abuse and that, in some cases, they have looked the other way. "We bow our heads in shame as we realize that this abuse has taken place in our Congregations and Orders, and in our Church, we have learned that abusers deliberately conceal their actions and are manipulators."
The late admission, a few hours after the summit begins, is somewhat hasty and reveals an urgent desire for media redemption. "Our shame increases when we see that we have not realized what was happening" and that "the response of the people in authority has not been what they should have been." They have not been able to see the warning signs or they did not take them seriously. "Regarding this meeting, although they consider that" a three-day meeting is a short time ", they consider that it can" start important processes and create accountability structures, as well as sustain the processes and structures that already exist".
On many occasions the victims have reported cases that affected the orders and congregations that now subscribe to the document. But in a large number of cases they found no answer. Something they also admit now. "For our part, we promise to do everything in our power to listen better to the survivors, humbly acknowledging that we have not always done so", they add. They also promise that they implement "everything that is decided during the meeting regarding surrender. of accounts required of people in authority ".
The union of orders and congregations admits that there is "unjustified loyalty, errors in judgment, slowness in acting, denying facts and sometimes covering them up." "We feel in need of conversion and we want to change. We want to act with humility. We want to identify our blind spots. We want to report any abuse of power. We commit ourselves to walk with those we serve, advancing with transparency and trust, honesty and sincere repentance, "they say.