Church Leaders Respond To Vatican Sex Abuse Summit The first-ever Vatican summit on preventing clergy sex abuse ended Sunday. We hear from church leaders around the globe.
NPR logo

Church Leaders Respond To Vatican Sex Abuse Summit

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/697481293/697481296" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Church Leaders Respond To Vatican Sex Abuse Summit

Church Leaders Respond To Vatican Sex Abuse Summit

Church Leaders Respond To Vatican Sex Abuse Summit

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/697481293/697481296" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The first-ever Vatican summit on preventing clergy sex abuse ended Sunday. We hear from church leaders around the globe.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

The first ever Vatican summit on preventing clergy sex abuse ended today with a mass.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON: (Through interpreter) We need to recognize with humility and courage that we stand face to face with the mystery of evil.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The summit on the protection of minors in the church began last week with videotaped testimonies from five survivors. One-hundred-and-ninety church leaders gathered to discuss how the church has failed to address this crisis and what it must do now. Some spoke powerfully about their own culpability.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

LUIS ANTONIO TAGLE: We humbly and sorrowfully admit that wounds have been inflicted by us - bishops - on the victims.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle is the archbishop of Manila.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

TAGLE: Our lack of response to the suffering of victims, even to the point of rejecting them and covering up the scandal to protect perpetrators and the institution, has injured our people.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: German Cardinal Reinhard Marx also sharply criticized the church's culture of secrecy, which he said has included destroying records of abuse.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

REINHARD MARX: The sexual abuse of children and youth is in no small measure due to the abuse of power in the area of administration. Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed or not even created.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Sister Veronica Openibo, a Nigerian-born nun, told the meeting that the church must acknowledge its mediocrity, hypocrisy and complacency.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

VERONICA OPENIBO: We proclaim the Ten Commandments and parade ourselves as being the custodians of moral standards and values and good behavior in the society. Hypocrites at times, yes - but why did we keep silent for so long?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: She called for zero tolerance for abusers in the church.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

OPENIBO: Too often, we want to keep silent until the storm has passed. This storm will not pass. Our credibility as a church is at stake.

Copyright © 2019 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.