Clergy abuse survivors grateful after private meetings with pope

National Catholic Reporter

Apr 30, 2018

by Junno Arocho Esteves, Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY — After private meetings with Pope Francis, three survivors of clergy sexual abuse from Chile said they felt they had been heard and were hopeful for changes in the way the Catholic Church handles accusations of abuse.

“I spoke for more than two and a half hours alone with Francis. He listened to me with great respect, affection and closeness, like a father. We talked about many subjects. Today, I have more hope in the future of our church. Even though the task is enormous,” Juan Carlos Cruz tweeted April 29 after meeting with the pope.

Francis had invited Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo to stay at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the Vatican residence where he lives, and to meet with him individually April 27-29. The three were to meet with the pope again as a group April 30.

Although the three survivors tweeted after their private meetings, Greg Burke, director of the Vatican press office, said Francis “expressly wished” that no official statements would be released by the Vatican regarding his discussions with the survivors.

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