A Voice for Survivors

For the first time, an international meeting of bishops’ representatives heard testimony from a survivor of sexual abuse by a member of the Catholic clergy. The testimony was part of an effort to help clerics be more aware of the impact of abuse and how the church can better help victims. The Anglophone Conference on the Safeguarding of Children, Young People and Vulnerable Adults has been meeting since 1996, and this year organizers invited an Irish survivor of abuse, Colm O’Gordon, to speak before the conference. Teresa Kettelkamp [pictured], head of the U.S. bishops’ Secretariat of Child and Youth Protection, said it was critical for church representatives from countries where the abuse problem has not yet been fully addressed to hear directly from a victim. She said, “We can always learn more of how we can better help victims-survivors heal and find reconciliation, but actually hearing directly from them and the impact the abuse had on them is always very powerful.” The conference met in Rome from May 30 to June 3.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

A youth takes the Eucharist from Monsignor Gregorio Rosa Chavez during a Mass giving thanks for Pope Francis' announcement that Chavez will be elevated to the rank of cardinal, at San Francisco de Asis parish church in San Salvador, El Salvador on Monday, May 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Salvador Melendez)
Rosa Chavez has a reputation as a man of the people, warm and quick to smile.
Fan leaves the Park Inn hotel in central Manchester, England, on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Over a dozen people were killed in an explosion following a Ariana Grande concert at the Manchester Arena late Monday evening. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
Pope Francis sent his condolences and prayers to all those affected "by this senseless act of violence" in Manchester, England.
In this photo taken May 19, 2017, a GPO worker stacks copies of "Analytical Perspectives Budget of the U.S. Government Fiscal Year 2018" onto a pallet at the U.S. Government Publishing Office's (GPO) plant in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The budget’s moral measure will be assessed by “how well it promotes the common good of all,” the bishops write.
Kevin ClarkeMay 22, 2017
A veteran activist provides a blueprint for creating a movement in the moment of Trump.
Nathan SchneiderMay 22, 2017