Melbourne archbishop: Abuse crisis, upcoming plenary council dominated ‘ad limina’


June 29, 2019

By Inés San Martín

Australian bishops spent the past week in Rome meeting with Pope Francis and the head of various Vatican offices, and the matter of Cardinal George Pell, convicted of historical sexual abuse but awaiting the result of his appeal, risked becoming the elephant in the room.

Yet, according to Archbishop Peter Comensoli of Melbourne, it didn’t, because it was directly addressed in most of the official conversations the 40 bishops had during their June 24-28 ad limina visit to Rome.

Though he wouldn’t reveal what was said about Pell, the archbishop told Crux on Thursday that there have been “two things” running through most of their meetings: The clerical sexual abuse crisis (Pell included), and the upcoming plenary council for the Church in Australia.

“The reality is that, in Australia, in a very real way, we stand at the feet of the Cross,” Comensoli said.

“The people who’ve been abused and their families, the devastation it’s caused, the suffering associated with that, the further traumatization that comes from the processes they’ve been put through in the past by the Church, all of that is part of the realness of where things are at.”

In addition, he noted the suffering of those who, without being survivors or members of their families, have been “traumatized” by the scandals, who are “disgusted by the way processes were applied.”

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