Sunday, June 20, 2010

Alleged abuse victims called in for Curia meeting

Alleged abuse victims called in for Curia meeting
Posted on June 20th, 2010 MaltaMedia
The alleged victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy have “finally” been called in for a meeting with the Curia’s Response Team and a top Vatican official which will take place in the coming days according to The Sunday Times.
The Sunday Times has reported that the team responsible for probing the cases will question the men who first made the allegations seven years ago against priests who ran an orphanage in St Venera.

However, two of the alleged victims have said the meeting with the Response Team will be nothing more than a whitewash to exonerate the priests in question.

“I think it’s going to be a waste of time. Though they have finally bothered to call us, this meeting is only being held because of the pressure we’ve applied through the media,” said Lawrence Grech, now 37.

However, the men are pinning their hopes on Rome-based Mgr Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who will also be in Malta this week to start investigating the cases.

Three priests are facing charges in relation to sexual offences that allegedly took place at St Joseph’s Institute in St Venera some 20 years ago. A fourth priest, also being accused by the men, has never been questioned by the police or the Curia’s Response Team.

The alleged victims, 11 in total, have severely criticised the Church and police for failing to act at once against the priests in question, and have also pointed fingers at the courts for delaying proceedings.

When contacted, Mgr Scicluna confirmed he would be holding individual private meetings with all of the alleged victims in the coming weeks. These meetings, he said, would provide him with direct information, which would supplement the work done on the case by the Curia’s Response Team.

However, Mgr Scicluna pointed out that the Archdiocese of Malta was still mainly responsibility for the investigation. Following the directives of Canon Law, the Curia will then refer the result of its investigations to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

“It is my hope that the full investigation of all the accusations will be concluded expeditiously,” Mgr Scicluna said to The Sunday Times.



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