Vatican determined to root out clerical abusers
The prefect of the Congregation for Clergy has said the Vatican is determined to root out clerical sexual abusers from its ranks.
Cardinal Claudio Hummes made his comments during a visit to India.
“The Church cannot accept such priests,” he said. “The Church cannot tolerate [abuse] and deals with it as a serious crime.”
The 75-year-old Capuchin cardinal from Brazil was in India to attend the first national congress of the country’s Catholic priests.
Some 800 priests and several bishops from India’s three ritual Churches attended the three-day programme in Vailankanni, Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, all twenty-four serving diocesan bishops in Ireland have begun arriving in Rome in advance of their two-day meeting on Monday and Tuesday with Pope Benedict and senior Vatican figures to discuss the handling of clerical sexual abuse by the Irish Church.
The Primate of All Ireland, Cardinal Sean Brady, arrived on Saturday.
He told RTÉ News that he has been consulting intensively with priests and laity in his diocese to hear their responses to child abuse scandals in advance of the summit.
The meetings in Rome, which will take place on 15-16 February, follow in the wake of the publication of the Murphy Report on the handling of allegations of clerical sexual abuse by the Archdiocese of Dublin last November.
Following the fall-out from the report, the Pope announced he would be issuing a pastoral letter to the Church in Ireland.
The former bishop of Limerick, Dr Donal Murray, who resigned in December over criticisms of him in the Murphy report, as well as Bishop John Magee of Cloyne whose powers of governance were removed last year, will not attend the meetings in Rome.
On Friday, a group representing survivors of clerical and institutional abuse met with the Archbishop of Dublin.
They presented Dr Diarmuid Martin with a letter from survivors of abuse to be delivered to the Pope in Rome.
Campaigners for survivors are calling for the Church to fully recognise and admit to its failure to protect children in its care.
They also want the issue of redress for victims to be finalised. Groups representing survivors of clerical sex abuse want the Vatican to provide €1bn in compensation for victims.