Church Abuse Survivors Demand Justice

Daily Monitor
September 18, 2010

Sue Cox was 10 years old when she says she was raped by a priest in her family home on the eve of her Confirmation, a sacrament which signifies the cementing of bonds between baptised believers and the Church.

The attack occurred in her bedroom while her family was downstairs. "I was mortified. I started to self-harm. I was ashamed and guilty," she said. Her mother told her: "Perhaps it was one of God's plans."

"It wasn't one of His better ones," Cox said.

Now in her 60s, Cox was one of five abuse survivors who Wednesday urged Pope Benedict XVI to turn over information on abuse claims against the clergy ahead of his arrival in the UK Thursday.

"We want action, we've had the apologies... we need the pope to say, 'I will hand over all information I have on abusing priests wherever they are in the world to the authorities where these people are being protected,'" said Peter Saunders, chief executive of the UK's National Association for People Abused in Childhood.

Many allegations

The Catholic Church is facing allegations of child abuse committed by priests in a number of countries, including the pope's native Germany, as well as Belgium, Ireland, Austria, the Netherlands and the United States.

Last month, Cox wrote a letter to the Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, the head of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales. It read: "I am so sick and tired of being patronized, anonymised and disregarded by the Church. And the recent obsequious apologies that have come from your offices are doing nothing to help people like me, they are simply making matters worse."

She doesn't want an apology or a meeting with the Pope.

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