Vatican City, Dec 18, 2018 / 07:38 am America/Denver (CNA).
Organizers of the Vatican’s February meeting on sexual abuse have sent a letter to the participating bishops asking them to meet with abuse victims in advance of the gathering.
“We urge each episcopal conference president to reach out and visit with victim survivors of clergy sex abuse in your respective countries prior to the meeting in Rome, to learn first-hand the suffering that they have endured,” the letter states.
“Absent a comprehensive and communal response, not only will we fail to bring healing to victim survivors, but the very credibility of the Church to carry on the mission of Christ will be in jeopardy throughout the world,” it continues.
“The first step must be acknowledging the truth of what has happened.”
The gathering, which will take place Feb. 21-24, 2019, is focused on the protection of minors from sexual abuse within the Church. The pope has asked the presidents of the world’s bishops’ conferences, and the heads of the Eastern Catholic Churches, to attend.