Archbishop Charles Scicluna said that abuse on minors is a great tragedy, stating that the work of the organising Committee for the Summit for the Protection of Minors in the Church started as soon as the Vatican summit finished.
Mgr. Scicluna was interviewed on RTK 103FM’s Follow Up by Sylvana Debono.
The Summit finished on Sunday with the Archbishop explaining that in spite of the Summit concluding before the Angelus, they were back in the Vatican immediately working on the results of the previous four days. He said that he had to stay at the Vatican where there are still ongoing meetings following the Summit.
The Archbishop said that there are many things to be done, while keeping in mind the various expectations, and observed that their immediate work reflects that they will be addressing these expectations with a strong sense of responsibility. The Committee is seeing which of the salient points from the Meeting can be concretely met.
‘We met 12 abuse victims’
Mgr. Scicluna described the meetings he has with abuse victims in Malta as well as abroad due to his work, these are moments of great suffering. He explained that during the summit, there were also groups of victims who were in the Vatican with some protesting while the meetings were ongoing.
The Archbishop mentioned how the leaders of the groups gave them the opportunity to meet with them. He said that during these meetings, much like any other meeting with victims, one can see the tragic story as well as the effects of abuse which the victims would have suffered leading to a loss of dignity and dreams, while in other cases it leads the victims to lose their faith.
When asked if minors are more protected now after the Summit, the Archbishop answered that it now depends on local churches. He explained that due to current practices in Malta and Gozo with systems with which one can report any case of abuse. He explained that when he became Archbishop, along with the other Bishops and religious superiors in Malta, reformed the system and established the Commission led by Andrew Azzopardi and a group of experts to help him. The Commission not only received complaints, but investigates, gives advice to religious leaders, and proceeds with the cases.
Mgr. Scicluna spoke of the importance in Malta’s case to have a good rapport between the Church and the Police. He mentioned how, in certain cases, they are obliged by Maltese laws to report them, while others ask for the authorities’ guidance on how to proceed. He explained that now the Summit has ended, when the Bishops go back to their dioceses they should share the experience which Mgr. Scicluna described as strong, and do everything for Pope Francis’ ideas to come to fruition in every local church.
The Archbishop also mentioned structures in other countries like Ireland, the UK, Canada, and America which are also going through great suffering. He spoke about the need for one to do their utmost to be a good example and prevent abuse on minors.