Pope Francis will meet three Chilean clergy sexual abuse survivors at the Vatican this weekend. Source: Vatican News.
The Holy See press spokesman Greg Bourke yesterday gave details of the of the planned meeting. He said that the three men will be welcomed by the Pope to his residence in the Vatican, the Casa Santa Marta.
Mr Burke named the three survivors as Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton e Jose Andrés Murillo, adding that the Pope was grateful they accepted the invitation.
He said that during the meeting, Pope Francis “wishes to ask them for forgiveness, to share their pain and his shame for what they have suffered and, above all, to listen to all their suggestions so that such reprehensible acts do not happen again”.
Mr Burke said that Francis will meet each survivor individually, allowing them as much time as they wish to talk.
He said the Pope asks for prayers for the Church in Chile at this painful moment, hoping that these meetings can take place in an atmosphere of “serene trust”, marking a vital step on the road to recovery and guaranteeing that “abuses of conscience, of power and especially sexual abuse in the Church” never happen again.
In an interview with The New York Times, Mr Cruz said he was looking forward to his meeting with the Pope.
“I don’t think that this is a PR exercise. I’m looking forward to speaking to him with an open heart, and hearing what he has to say. I am being told he wants me to be completely honest with him,” Mr Cruz said.
In response to the question of what Mr Cruz would like to get across to the Pope, he said “Mostly, the pain and suffering of so many people, and some people have suffered a lot more than I have. I’ve suffered a lot. But I’ve had friends that have committed suicide. I have to make sure that our case is not treated as an isolated case. It feels like the heaviest backpack you’ve ever carried.”
Burke names Chilean abuse survivors attending papal meeting (Vatican News)