At Vatican summit, talk of destroyed files riles bishops’ critics

Vatican Sex Abuse

Sex abuse survivors and members of the ECA (Ending Clergy Abuse), march in downtown Rome, Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019. Pope Francis is hosting a four-day summit on preventing clergy sexual abuse, a high-stakes meeting designed to impress on Catholic bishops around the world that the problem is global and that there are consequences if they cover it up. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Source: Religion News Service

BY Jack Jenkinsjackmjenkins

VATICAN CITY (RNS) — On a day packed with emotion and unusually direct criticism of the Catholic Church hierarchy, victims of church abuse responded sharply to an admission by a German cardinal that the church has destroyed files documenting sexual abuse abuse by its priests.

“Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created,” Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, told the more than 190 church leaders gathered at the Vatican’s synod on clergy abuse.

The vague disclosure on the third day of the Vatican’s summit on sex abuse, the theme of which was transparency, infuriated advocates for abuse victims, who marched through the streets of Rome shortly after Marx’s talk demanding the church adopt a firm zero tolerance policy toward abuse and abusers.

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