Global survivors to Pope Francis: 3 things you must do now to end clergy abuse

The words require planning and action. These 3 actions, group says, will turn the corner on clergy sex abuse and cover-ups

In yesterday’s letter by the Pope,‘Letter to the People of God’, Francis correctly identifies sexual abuse as a crime, not just a sin. That is why the cover-up of sex crimes by bishops must be dealt with by justice systems around the world. The Pope, for the first time, talks about the importance of eliminating the statutes of limitation of child sexual abuse. “The pain and the truth does not end,” he said. Nevertheless, in his 2,000-word ‘Letter to the People of God’, Pope Francis neither mentions nor commits to a single concrete step to solve the abuse crisis.

Decrying this lack of specificity, the global organization ECA (Ending Clergy Abuse) a group of global survivors and activists, from over 18 countries and 4 continents, is calling on the Pope to commit immediately to a 3-point action plan that they say will turn the corner on the clergy sex abuse and cover-up worldwide epidemic.

“This is the defining moment for Pope Francis”, said Mark Vincent Healy, ECA member and survivor of sexual abuse by two Irish priests. “He has come to our country in the midst of a worldwide uproar about clergy sexual abuse. He should not leave until he gives us a plan for ending this crisis.”

According to ECA, any plan by the Pope must include these 3 actions:

1. Enact global zero tolerance for any abusive cleric and superior’s complicity. Even one substantiated act of child sexual abuse or cover-up, no matter when it occurred, will result in their permanent removal from ministry or office.

2. Create a global public registry of all clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse. This would begin with the immediate publication of the 3,400 clergy found guilty by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). This will protect our children and communities.

3. Declare the obligation to report child sexual abuse allegations current and past to civil authorities. Not reporting it should mean immediate excommunication.

These three measures are crucial if the Pope is going to “spare no effort” to “create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening” and “to prevent the possibility of these being covered up and perpetuated.”

“No organization can police itself. The Catholic Church is not an exception, and needs to be accountable,” according to Matthias Katsch, ECA Global Board member and German survivor. “Whatever the Pope does internally, his promise can only be achieved with the help of secular authorities. A full house-cleaning will occur only if there are intensified international and state-level investigations and prosecutions”, says Katsch

#ECAinIreland Timeline:
Press Conference + Panel Discussion FRI. AUG 24, 1:00pm Dublin local time, Ballsbridge Hotel
Press Conference Reactions to Pope / Availability, SAT. AUG 25, 6:00pm Dublin local time, Ballsbridge Hotel

Peter Isely
ECA Global Founding Member, United States survivor.,
+14144297259 (available GMT)

Matthias Katsch
ECA Global Founding Member, German survivor
+49 178 167 4838

Peter Saunders
ECA Global Founding Member, UK survivor
Past member of Pontifical Commission
+44 7977 975402

Mark Vincent Healy | ECA Member
ECA Global | Ending Clergy Abuse
+353 87 637 4006 | @MarkVHealy – @endclergyabuse

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 18 countries and 4 continents. – @ENDCLERGYABUSE –