June 21, 2019
By Deacon Greg Kandra
I am in St. Petersburg this week for the Catholic Media Conference, and heard Msgr. Kennedy give this address. It was, to say the least, sobering.
Details, from CNS:
In a remarkably frank and detailed speech, the Vatican official heading the department charged with reviewing clergy sexual abuse allegations told an assembly of Catholic journalists that his investigators and the press “share the same goal, which is the protection of minors, and we have the same wish to leave the world a little better than how we found it.”
Msgr. John Kennedy, who since 2017 has headed the discipline section for the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, described the personal toll on the 17 people in his office as they have reviewed an ever-growing tide of cases involving clergy sexual abuse or related crimes.
“I can honestly tell you that, when reading cases involving sexual abuse by clerics, you never get used to it, and you can feel your heart and soul hurting,” Kennedy said. “There are times when I am pouring over cases that I want to get up and scream, that I want to pack up my things and leave the office and not come back.”
The Irish-born priest has worked and studied in Rome since 1998. Speaking with a soft Irish brogue and an even tone, he gave a humane and at times anguished assessment of his job reviewing the horrors of sexual abuse and its cover-up.
Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.