Victims of sex abuse at the hands of the Catholic Church clergy are now suing Pope Francis and other senior Vatican officials stating they knew about the incidents yet they didn’t let them out in the daylight, reported New York Times.
The lawsuit was charged by seven victims of abuse. It stated that “The Holy See has known for centuries that Catholic priests were using their positions and roles in Catholic parishes and schools to sexually molest children.” The ‘Holy See’ refers to the See of Rome under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope.
Attorney Jeff Herman said “The Holy See through the Pope issued very specific rules and policies instructing bishops to keep secret information about kids being sexually abused by priests; because of that policy, families were not warned, kids were exposed to paedophiles, paedophile priests, and molested. They specifically kept it secret.”
However, on Tuesday, the Pope implemented a massive change. He abolished the “pontifical secret.” The Pontifical Secret or Papal Secrecy refers to the bond of confidentiality which kept all the governance of the Church a secret. The decision was welcomed and applauded by many who advocated for the victims.
The lifting of papal secrecy was a key demand by the Church leaders for investigations on sexual abuse at the summit held at the Vatican in February. Secrecy in cases involving minors was outdated. Some leaders were hiding behind it rather than cooperating with the investigations.
The Catholic Church has been accused of sexual abuse for 20 years. Pope Francis has hence vowed to show zero tolerance for offenders. However, the people want him to bring in more changes to hold the abuser accountable.