How many meetings will it take for Rome to learn that child sex abuse is a crime, predators must be made public and jailed, and church officials who cover up for molesters must be held accountable?
But even after years of promises, meetings, and empty apologies, the Vatican cannot do the simplest, cheapest, and most child-friendly action possible: make public decades of secret files on clergy sex offenders and enablers.
This week in Rome, Catholic bishops and religious superiors from around the world are meeting for the Vatican-sponsored “Towards Healing and Renewal” conference. The four day symposium is being billed as a “global initiative on safeguarding children and vulnerable adults”.
Conference leaders say that the purpose of this event is to create guidelines on how to handle reports of childhood sexual abuse. Who will be leading the discussion? The very same “experts” and church officials who bear responsibility for the continued global cover-up of clergy child sex crimes, including Cardinal William Levada, who covered up criminal reports of child rape and sexual assault when he was archbishop of San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon.
True change and child protection comes through accountability from secular authorities. Until we have that, we must see Rome’s meeting for exactly what it is: cheap window dressing.
If the Vatican was serious about protecting and safeguarding children Pope Benedict XVI would order Cardinal Levada and other church officials to turn over the thousands of pages of evidence of sex crimes they have in their possession to the International Criminal Court for investigation and prosecution.
Read the story here: http://thr.unigre.it/vescovi2012/en-gb/presspublic/press.aspx