Irish sex abuse survivors say Francis should admit to Vatican’s cover-up

National Catholic Reporter

July 25, 2018

By Joshua J. McElwee

Several prominent Irish clergy sexual abuse survivors are calling on Pope Francis to use his upcoming visit to their country at the end of August to admit to the Vatican’s role for decades in helping cover-up abuse cases on the island.

Noting that the pontiff publicly decried a “culture of abuse and cover-up” in the Chilean Catholic Church in a letter to the people of that country in May, the Irish survivors say they are owed a similar admission about how the church sought to silence them and fellow victims.

“It would be very right if he said the same sort of things here in Ireland, because the situation in Ireland was no different than the situation in Chile,” said Marie Collins, an Irish survivor and former member of Francis’ clergy abuse commission.

“I think it’s an opportunity with the pope coming to Ireland to be open and very clear in … saying something about it, because that really hasn’t happened,” Collins said in a July NCR interview.

Mark Vincent Healy, an Irish survivor who took part in Francis’ first meeting with abuse victims at the Vatican in 2014, said simply: “I think the same questions that were asked in Chile with regards to the church there would be something of the similar scrutiny that needs to be asked of the church here.”

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