This week on “Inside the Vatican” Gerry and I are in Rome covering the Vatican’s sexual abuse summit. So this week’s episode might sound a little different—you’ll hear the sounds of Rome, and some of the interviews that Gerry and I have been doing while we’re here.
Pope Francis started the summit presenting a surprise 21-point “road map” to guide the discussions and even spoke about a possible change to canon law.
After the opening address, there were several emotional moments on the first day. One of those was when the bishops listened to the audio and video testimonies of survivors, one from each continent, in order to stress the point to bishops that sexual abuse is a problem everywhere. Programming on the first day also focused on responsibility, while on Friday the focus will be on accountability.
After the meeting ends on Sunday, some bishops will stay in Rome to put together a handbook that will explain how to handle sexual abuse cases—from reporting all the way up through convictions and healing for the parties involved. They will also start setting up a system in which every bishop in the world will be audited on how they handle sexual abuse.