Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Pope meeting with abuse victims confirmed

Although the Catholic Church in England and Wales is refusing officially to confirm it -- while strongly hinting that it is likely -- the chairman of the National Catholic Safeguarding Commission has told the Wall Street Journal that Pope Benedict XVI is "expected to talk with as many as 10" clergy abuse survivors on his trip to the UK.

Bill Kilgallon, head of the body responsible for overseeing child protection guidelines in the UK Catholic Church, is arrranging the encounter, but has given no details of the participants, date or location, saying that "for the individuals it's a private matter".

The WSJ carries quotes from victims who dismiss the move as a Vatican PR stunt. Margaret Kennedy of the Minister and Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors group in the UK tells the newspaper that the meeting should be an open, public one.