GENEVA, Switzerland — Some of the most prominent figures in the fight against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church are joining forces in a new international effort to end abuse and the impunity of bishops and religious superiors who enable it.
The multinational initiative, End Clergy Abuse, was announced Thursday at a press conference in Geneva. One after another, more than a dozen members of the new organization held up their national flags and denounced an individual bishop who they said had botched an abuse case.
They demanded Pope Francis reconsider his ditched plan to create a Vatican tribunal to hold negligent bishops accountable.
The initiative seeks to build on the momentum that clergy abuse survivors in Chile have created. Recently, every active bishop in Chile offered to resign for their collective guilt in the abuse scandal.
According to the organization’s website, End Clergy Abuse has three main objectives:
- To hold accountable the Roman Catholic Church in multiple arenas: Providing data, mobilizing public opinion, by judicial and legislative actions to end clerical abuse, and to provide justice to victims.
- To support and empower victims by assisting them to organize and contact local or global organizations to find help and demand for
- To network with organizations that investigate and research about sexual clerical abuse and cover up.
The organization includes Peter Saunders, who was a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors until Dec. 2017.
Crux staff contributed to this report.