August 20, 2018.

Global survivors and activists respond to Pope Francis statement.

The culture of abuse is a “mechanism” that lives in the structures and laws of the Church, global group says.

Church laws and structures must change then the culture of abuse will end.

Pope Francis in a statement today, is acknowledging that there are “a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons” who have been involved in criminal activities against children. This should put to an end anyone who continues to believe that it is just a small number of clerics who are involved in these crimes.

The Pope said that in “looking back to the past, no effort to beg pardon and seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient”. Although that might be true for the individual survivor, what Pope Francis has done so far to change the structure of the church is clearly not sufficient, and that is something that can be done.

It is completely perplexing why he hasn’t yet done it.

The Pope apparently believes that the problem of sexual abuse by clergy and the cover-up by bishops is a problem of church “culture”. It is not only a cultural problem. It is a system of cannon laws that allow priests around the world to remain clerics after they have abused children. It is a system that allows bishops to remain bishops after they have covered up for those clerics. And it is a system that allows the Vatican to perpetuate or ignore this massive network of abuse and cover-up without having to change it.

On Sunday, Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, who is the president of WMOF 2018, correctly identified where this evil lives. It lives in the “structures that permit or facilitate abuse.” These structures Martin stated “must be broken down and broken down forever.” Martin described it as “mechanisms of cover-up.” It is these mechanisms that creates the culture of cover-up, not the other way around.

Peter Isely
ECA Founding Member and Spokesperson, United States survivor,
+14144297259 (available GMT)

José Andrés Murillo
ECA Founding Member, Chilean Survivor
Executive Director Fundación para la Confianza,

Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA) is a worldwide organization of survivors and human rights activists who compel the Roman Catholic Church to end clergy abuse, especially child sexual abuse, in order to
protect children and to seek justice for victims. ECA assembly members represent over 15 countries and 4 continents. – @ENDCLERGYABUSE –