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Pope Francis: abuse meeting, listen to the “cry of the little ones who ask for justice”, not with “condemnations” but with “concrete measures”

(Foto Siciliani-Gennari/SIR)

Listening to the “cry of the little ones who ask for justice”, without issuing “simple, predictable condemnations”, but with “concrete and effective measures” to counter this “evil which afflicts the Church and humanity”. Pope Francis said this in his opening remarks at the meeting on “The Protection of Minors in the Church” which kicked off in the Vatican’s New Synod Hall this morning. “In the face of the plague of sexual abuse perpetrated by men of the Church against children – Pope Francis said after an opening prayer – I summoned you, patriarchs, cardinals, archbishops, bishops, religious superiors and leaders, so that together “we may listen to the Holy Spirit and with docility to His guidance we may hear the cry of the little ones who ask for justice”. “Our meeting is weighed down by the weight of pastoral and ecclesial responsibility which obliges us to discuss together, in a synodal, sincere and profound way, how to deal with this evil which afflicts the Church and humanity”, Pope Francis continued, speaking about child abuse. “The Holy People of God look to us and expect from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be prepared”. “Concreteness is needed”, he added off the cuff. “Let us therefore start our journey armed with faith and the spirit of maximum parresia, courage and concreteness”, Pope Francis said at the end of his remarks. The Vatican summit on abuse committed by members of the clergy is attended by 190 people, including the presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences, leaders of the Oriental Catholic Churches, representatives of the Union of Superiors General and of the International Union of Superiors General of women religious, and members of the Roman Curia and the Council of Cardinals. The Pope’s speech will be followed by the presentations of Card. Luis Antonio Tagle and Mgr. Charles Jude Scicluna, and by group work.

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