Pope Francis introduces the meeting (21-24 February) on the protection of minors from abuses perpetrated by members of the Church. Courage and concrete measures arrived at in a "synodal way". The testimony of an abused boy: "Why did God not listen to me?".
Vatican City (AsiaNews) - "Hear the cry of the little ones who plead for justice ": this is the appeal with which Pope Francis opened the meeting on "The protection of minors in the Church", which from today to February 24th would like find ways to "face this evil that afflicts the Church and humanity", or the "plague of sexual abuses perpetrated by men of the Church to the detriment of minors".
190 new people are gathered in the new Synod hall, including presidents of world episcopal conferences, heads of Eastern Churches, representatives of the Union of Superiors General and of the International Union of Superiors General. Also present were members of the Roman Curia and the Council of Cardinals.
The Pope emphasized that the three days of the meeting, conducted "in a synodal manner", must respond to the " The holy People of God” who “looks to us, and expects from us not simple and predictable condemnations, but concrete and effective measures to be undertaken. We need to be concrete." He asked everyone for "great parrhesia", "courage and concreteness". And he concluded with a request that "the Holy Spirit to sustain us throughout these days, and to help us to turn this evil into an opportunity for awareness and purification".
The meeting began at 9am this morning with a prayer. After a short reading a brief testimony of a young man who had been abused: "Nobody listened to me; neither my parents, nor my friends, nor later the ecclesiastical authorities. They did not listen to me and my tears. And I wonder: why? And I wonder, why did not God hear me? ". A deep and long silence fell on the assembly. Each day will hear with video-testimonials. The pontiff asked that the meetings be first of all moments of "listening to the victims".