With Ad Limina Visits, Pope Francis Should Renew Call for “All-Out Battle” on Clergy Abuse

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

Nov. 5, 2019

Starting this week, virtually all U.S. Catholic bishops will begin travelling to Rome to meet face-to-face with Pope Francis. During these “ad limina” visits, we hope that Church officials and the pontiff will focus almost solely on combatting cases of clergy abuse and improving how Catholic leaders respond to victims and protect children.

They can start by exhorting Pope Francis to expand his reporting directive to require that all allegations of abuse must be reported to secular law enforcement. U.S. Bishops wrote this directive into their Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People way back in 2002, but as recent reports have shown, those directives have had no teeth and bishops have been free to ignore them. Perhaps if the pope deigned to use his considerable power and require that these measures be taken seriously, Church officials would actually listen.

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