Pope shares letter from survivor of clergy abuse

Pope Francis speaks with Fr Peter Harman, rector of the Pontifical North American College, and seminarians on September 29 at the Vatican (CNS/Paul Haring)

Pope Francis has shared a letter from an adult survivor of clergy abuse, addressed to the world’s seminarians, calling for an end to silence and a commitment to truth. Source: CNS.

“Please, do not sweep things under the carpet, because then they start to stink, putrefy, and the rug itself will rot away. … Let us realise that if we hide these facts, when we keep our mouths shut, we hide the filth and we thus become a collaborator,” said the survivor in a letter sent to Pope Francis and addressed to all seminarians.

"To live in the truth is to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who never closed his eyes to sin or the sinner, but who “lived the truth with love … (who) indicated the sin and the sinner with bitter love,” the letter said.

The letter, written in Italian, had been sent to Pope Francis, who then requested it be made public with the author’s identity withheld, according to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which republished the text of the letter on its website yesterday.

The commission’s president, United States Cardinal Sean O’Malley, said, “During this time of renewal and pastoral conversion in which the church is facing the scandal and wounds of sexual abuse inflicted everywhere upon so many children of God, our Holy Father received from a survivor a courageous testimony offered to all seminarians.”

By sharing this testimony publicly, “Pope Francis wants to welcome the voices of all wounded people and to show all priests who proclaim the Gospel the path that leads to authentic service of God to the benefit of all vulnerable people,” the cardinal wrote in an introduction to the letter.


Pope shares survivor’s letter pleading for clergy to face truth of abuse (By Carol Glatz, CNS via Crux

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