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Baltimore, Md., Nov 12, 2018 / 04:10 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In the afternoon of the first full day of the US bishops' autumn general assembly, two speakers pleaded with the bishops to listen deeply to abuse victims and to lay experts in the Church about how to move forward.
Christina Lamas, Executive Director of the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry, told the bishops they must not ignore the pain of the victims of clergy sex abuse.
People - Church - Cleric - Church - Leadership
Many young people, she said, “have been hurt twice by the Church,” first when they were abused by a cleric, and then again when they were ignored by Church leadership after the abuse.
“We need words of compassion when speaking about those disconnected from the Church, to view them as sisters and brothers, not as prize objects,” Lamas said.
Bishops - Conspiracy - Malice - Bishops - Part
“We need bishops to stop seeing conspiracy and malice, instead we look for our bishops and those who work with them to assume the good” on the part of those who come forward, she added.
While the Vatican has ordered the U.S. bishops conference not to vote on proposals aimed at sex abuse reforms until after a meeting of the world’s bishop conference presidents in February, the subject has still featured prominently at the meeting of U.S. bishops, which is being held in Baltimore Nov. 12-14.
Lamas - Monday - Afternoon - Session - Bishops
Lamas, who spoke during a Monday afternoon session, also called the bishops to examine and root out the causes of sexual abuse.
“From you our bishops, we need you to address the root of the problem – abuse of power. We need soul-searching about clericalism and its roots,” she said.
Glimmers - Hope - Lamas - Bishops - Investigations
There have been “glimmers of hope,” Lamas said, noting that some bishops have opened investigations, created review boards, and held listening sessions in their dioceses.
Young people are also now being taught “not to keep secrets, and...
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