Durham University issues report on impact of abuse crisis on Catholic communities

(Zenit News).

The researchers carried out 82 interviews and four focus groups. The participants were drawn from 14 of the 22 Catholic dioceses and 16 religious orders across England and Wales. The whole Catholic Church should listen more to the victims and survivors of clerical child abuse and the experience of affected parish communities and consider appropriate action, a new report says. The Cross of the Moment report is based on research led by Durham University’s Centre for Catholic Studies. It is the first study of how the abuse crisis has impacted the whole Catholic community in England and Wales.

The report suggests that aspects of the culture and practices of the Catholic Church are implicated in how clerical child sexual abuse has happened. They also partly explain how the response of the Church has often failed, causing further pain and harm, described by victims and survivors as “secondary abuse”. The report invites groups across the Catholic community to listen more deeply to the voices of those directly and indirectly affected and consider what may need to change in Catholic culture and theological understanding. It responds to Pope Francis’ proposal that to move forward, the Catholic community needs “a continuous and profound conversion of hearts attested by concrete and effective actions that involve everyone in the Church”.

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