Rome Newsroom, Aug 3, 2023 / 11:37 am
Pope Francis met with 13 survivors of clerical sex abuse on his first day in Portugal and urged the Church to listen to “the anguished cry of the victims.”
The emotional private meeting at Lisbon’s apostolic nunciature, or Vatican embassy, on Wednesday night was a moment of “intense listening” by the pope and lasted more than an hour, according to the Vatican. Representatives from Catholic institutions working for the protection of minors in Portugal accompanied the victims.
In a speech to Portuguese clergy immediately before the pope’s encounter with the abuse survivors, Francis acknowledged the “anger with which some people view the Church” due to “the scandals that have marred her face.”
Pope Francis called for “a humble, ongoing purification, starting with the anguished cry of the victims, who must always be accepted and listened to.”