Pope Francis told a group of Jesuits in Peru that he often meets on Fridays with survivors of sex abuse.
The meetings, which he said do not always become public knowledge, make it clear that the survivors’ process of recovery “is very hard. They remain annihilated. Annihilated,” the pope had told the Jesuits on 19th January in Lima.
The scandal of clerical sexual abuse shows not only the “fragility” of the Catholic Church, he said, “but also – let us speak clearly – our level of hypocrisy.”
The director of the Vatican press office confirmed on 15th February that the pope’s meetings with abuse survivors are regular and ongoing.
“I can confirm that several times a month, the Holy Father meets victims of sexual abuse both individually and in groups,” said Greg Burke, the director. “Pope Francis listens to the victims and tries to help them heal the serious wounds caused by the abuse they’ve suffered. The meetings take place with maximum reserve out of respect for the victims and their suffering.”
Picture: Pope Francis meets ON 19th January with Jesuits in the sacristy of the Church of St Peter in Lima, Peru. (CNS photo/Vatican Media).