MUMBAI, India – A retired judge from India’s Supreme Court says the upcoming Vatican summit on clerical abuse is “very important” and the Catholic Church has an obligation to hold a “correct moral perspective.”

Justice Kurian Joseph, who is Catholic, spoke to Crux in Mumbai on Jan. 17.

Pope Francis has called the heads of all the bishops’ conferences around the world to the Feb. 21-24 gathering, the first such global meeting on abuse.

“This summit is very important, from a legal and human rights perspective, but also from the moral perspective,” Joseph said.

“The Catholic Church must be recognized for her moral authority and integrity and this anti-abuse summit will play a fundamental role in the Catholic Church’s moral authority,” he continued.

“The Catholic Church has an obligation to instruct the world on correct moral perspective on these issues,” the retired judge said.

Joseph said the government and civil society have their own role to play in tackling abuse, but the Church has the duty to address the “moral perspective” of the issue.

Mumbai’s archbishop, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, is a member of the organizing committee for the summit.

On Jan. 10, and he and the other committee members met at the Vatican to arrange the schedule of the meeting. It will include plenary sessions, working groups and time for communal prayer while listening to the personal testimonies of abuse survivors. There will also be a penitential liturgy during the meeting, which will conclude with a Mass celebrated by Francis.