From the Vatican, Pope Francis opened a landmark summit on clergy sexual abuse. Church leaders from around the world gathering to address the scandal for the first time since it erupted decades ago.
Day two of this Vatican Summit on Protecting Children and the theme today is accountability. One of the biggest frustrations that we hear from survivors is that while the church has made progress in dealing with priests who abuse children, they haven’t made very much progress in dealing with bishops who, in many cases, for years turned a blind eye and covered it up. That issue is front and center before the bishops and cardinals today. And, it’s one reason why this summit could potentially be a turning point for Pope Francis and for the Catholic Church.
Some survivors, like Phil Saviano, tell us they’re encouraged.
“I think the wheels are turning here. You know, I hope that I’m not wrong ’cause I’ve been talking about this for 28 years now. And, I know that some organizations move slowly, but this is ridiculous.”
Saviano is one of the original survivors who shared their story with the Boston Global Spotlight Team all those years ago. He says, in his case, the priests who molested him at age 11; one of them had 28 victims. That is why this issue of bishop accountability is so important.