Cardinal Zuppi Announces Report on Clerical Sex Abuse in Italy
The report will cover abuse in the Catholic Church in Italy from the years 2000 to 2021. He said it is due to be released on Nov. 18.
In his first press conference since being selected as president of the Italy’s bishops’ conference, Cardinal Matteo Zuppi announced on Friday plans for a report on clerical sex abuse in the country.
“Our thoughts always go to the victims, and that is the first concern,” Cardinal Zuppi said on May 27.
“We need to strengthen diocesan services for minors and vulnerable people,” he said, according to ACI Stampa, CNA’s Italian-language news partner.
The cardinal announced that the report will cover abuse in the Catholic Church in Italy from the years 2000 to 2021. He said it is due to be released on Nov. 18.
“There is a willingness, peacefully and painfully, to clarify; here, we evaluate with accuracy. … We want fair and true clarity,” Cardinal Zuppi said.
The possibility of reparations for victims is an open question at this time, according to the cardinal, who said that the consequences for bishops found to have covered up abuse will be “very serious.”
The Italian bishops discussed whether to hold a national inquiry into abuse during the bishops’ plenary assembly in Rome this week.
Italian associations joined together in February to coordinate a movement against abuse in the Church. The network, which calls itself #ItalyChurchToo, is pushing the bishops to carry out an independent investigation into clerical sexual abuse in Italy over the last 70 years.
The consortium sent a letter to the Italian bishops’ conference on May 23 at the start of its general assembly.
Cardinal Seán O’Malley of Boston urged Italian bishops on May 25 to work for a “pastoral conversion” in their approach to survivors of clerical sexual abuse.
The head of the Vatican’s abuse commission made the appeal in a video message played on the third day of the bishops’ plenary assembly.
It was announced on May 24 that the Pope had chosen Cardinal Zuppi to lead the Italian bishops’ conference as its president.
During the livestreamed press conference, Cardinal Zuppi also touched on physician-assisted suicide, which has been a subject of national debate in Italy this year.
In February, Italy’s constitutional court blocked a referendum to decriminalize physician-assisted suicide in the country, citing inadequate legal protections for the weak and vulnerable.
“The doctrine of the Church is very clear,” Cardinal Zuppi said. “Closeness to suffering remains the fundamental starting point.”