Buenos Aires Times

argentina CATHOLIC CHURCH

Argentine abuse survivors' network calls Pope's sex abuse summit 'act of hypocrisy'

The network urged "the global public to declare a 'genocidal state' in Holy See" for having "developed, applied and maintained a system of protection and concealment of abusive priests over time.”

Monday 25 February, 2019
Sex abuse victims and survivors' network members march in downtown Rome. Pope Francis is hosting a four-day summit on preventing clergy sexual abuse, a high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops around the world the gravity of the Church's institutional failures.
Sex abuse victims and survivors' network members march in downtown Rome. Pope Francis is hosting a four-day summit on preventing clergy sexual abuse, a high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops around the world the gravity of the Church's institutional failures. Foto:AP

The Network of Survivors of Ecclesiastical Abuse of Argentina has denounced Pope Francis’ historic Vatican summit against paedophilia in the Catholic Church, describing it as an "act of simulation and hypocrisy."

"We have witnessed a new act of simulation and hypocrisy by officials of an independent state. It’s a serial breach of international human rights conventions," the Network said in a outspoken statement titled "The Lying Liar” on Sunday.

The network urged "the global public to declare a ‘genocidal state’ in the Holy See" for having "developed, applied and maintained a system of protection and concealment of abusive priests over time.”

The group will encourage international denunciations against the Vatican, ask for Church archives to be opened and for registers of ecclesiastical abusers to be released.

"The objective [of protecting minors] is blurred and loses value in concluding that ecclesiastical pedophilia is only part of the abuse as a transverse and very broad problem,” the Network lamented regarding the summit that will be led by Pope Francisco.

The Argentine Network of Survivors of Ecclesiastical Sexual Abuses integrates more than a hundred victims.

"Not all the victims have made a criminal or ecclesiastical complaint. Some have not yet been encouraged, many have not yet spoken and are trapped in the institution,” psychologist Liliana Rodríguez told AFP. “Everything that happens [at the Summit] will cause a setback, which is why the summit is being denounced.”

The agency accused the Catholic Church of prioritising "its credibility as an institution to the life and physical and mental health of victims and survivors.”

It also alleged that there was "disrespectful, degrading and victimizing treatment of survivors”

during the meeting attended by leaders of the 114 episcopal conferences around the world.

At the conclusion of the summit on Sunday, the Argentine pontiff promised to fight all cases of sexual abuse in the Church with "the utmost seriousness" and acknowledged that the battle against the problem of abuse is just beginning.

-TIMES/AFP

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