- Dec 7, 2019
Speaking in his Sunday Angelus address, Pope Francis petitioned Catholics to pray for an upcoming anti-abuse summit at the Vatican, saying he wanted to call the gathering as a response to the “urgent” challenge of clerical sexual abuse.
Dawn Eden Goldstein overcame the “spiritually isolating” effects of childhood sexual abuse via the communion of saints, as she recounts in her unusual memoir “My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds With the Help of the Saints.”
Allen Hebert was 12-years-old in 1981, when he met Father Adrianus Johannes Willemsen – “Father Andy” – a Dutch priest serving in the Diocese of Austin. The priest later abused him.
Since both abuse survivors on the Pontifical Commission for Minors exited the body before the end of its term, the Vatican has usually not named the abuse survivors involved in anti-abuse efforts.
Last week the organizing committee of a high-stakes anti-abuse summit next month met to outline the schedule of the gathering, which will include both a penitential liturgy, and testimonies from survivors themselves.
A Feb. 21-24 Vatican summit on clerical sexual abuse will emphasize the fact that “victims need to be heard,” says a member of pope’s main child protection organization.