Pope Francis urged European bishops on Saturday to listen to survivors of clergy sexual abuse, saying “these important discussions really touch the future of the Church,” AP reports.
running news: Francis spoke in a video message to Central and Eastern European bishops convening in Poland for a four-day child protection conference starting Sunday.
- Nearly a dozen current and retired Polish bishops have been “sanctioned in recent months by the Vatican for their repeated failures to listen to victims and take action to sanction priests who have been raped and molested,” the AP notes. does.
what is he saying: “Only by facing the truth of this cruel treatment and seeking forgiveness from the victims and survivors can the Church be regarded and trusted once again as a place of welcome and protection for those who need it, Francis said.
big picture: After years of complaints from victims that the Vatican failed to respond to allegations, Francis has passed legislation in an effort to hold bishops accountable for covering up the abuse.