Rome, Italy, Feb 19, 2019 / 11:08 am America/Denver (CNA).
Superiors general of men’s and women’s religious communities expressed sorrow Tuesday for sexual abuse committed within religious congregations and orders ahead of a Vatican meeting on child sex abuse.
The Feb. 19 statement noted the summit’s focus on “the sexual abuse of children and the abuse of power and conscience by those in authority in the Church, especially bishops, priests and religious.”
“We bow our heads in shame at the realization that such abuse has taken place in our Congregations and Orders, and in our Church,” the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) and the Union of Superiors General (USG) wrote.
“Our shame is increased by our own lack of realization of what has been happening,” it continued. “We acknowledge that when we look at Provinces and Regions in our Orders and Congregations across the world, that the response of those in authority has not been what it should have been. They failed to see warning signs or failed to take them seriously.”
The organizations said they hope the Holy Spirit will work powerfully during the Feb. 21-24 meeting on the protection of minors in the Church, and that they are ready to implement whatever is decided in terms of accountability for those in authority. Representatives of UISG and USG will attend the summit.