News / Europe

Catholic Church Abuse Victims Come to Britain for Pope Visit

Americans Therese Albrecht (R) and Barbara Blaine are in Britain for the Pope's visit to represent the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP)
Americans Therese Albrecht (R) and Barbara Blaine are in Britain for the Pope's visit to represent the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP)

Multimedia

Jennifer Glasse

As Pope Benedict prepares to tour Great Britain this week, he does so in the shadow of child sex-abuse scandals that have affected Catholic parishes around the world.  Abuse victims have come to Britain to persuade the Pope and the Vatican to do more to combat abuse in the Catholic Church.  

Americans Therese Albrecht and Barbara Blaine are in Britain for the Pope's visit and represent the group Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). They want more openness about abuse in the Catholic Church.

THERESE ALBRECHT: "I was raped at 8 years of age by a Catholic priest in Chicago, Illinois."
BARBARA BLAINE: "We are asking that the Pope and the Vatican establish a worldwide database with the names of all of the known and credibly-accused predator priests"

Briton Peter Saunders says he was abused a couple of kilometers from this London suburb where Pope Benedict is expected to stay. Saunders says Church officials have refused to meet with him because he is so vocal.

"They do not want adult survivors talking about it, because it shines a spotlight on their murky disgusting abusive world," noted Saunders.

Earlier this year, Pope Benedict met privately with abuse survivors in Malta, amid newly-emerging stories of abuse around the world and allegations of a Vatican cover-up.

This month, Belgium's Catholic Church admitted that hundreds children were abused by priests between the 1950s and the 1980s, in nearly every diocese and Catholic school in the country.

Here in Britain, church officials say they now have a strong set of procedures in place to address the problem.  About 150 abuse allegations have been investigated in the past three years and at least two priests have been arrested. Bill Kilgallon heads the commission that investigates claims against the clergy.

"We are very strongly of the view in this country that the statutory authorities have to be involved from the beginning so that there isn't any opportunity for cover up," said Kilgallon.

Pope Benedict is expected to meet with abuse victims during his visit here, although none from Britain's main protest groups.  Outside the Cathedral where the Pope will celebrate Mass, these former victims are encouraging others to come forward if they can shed any light on the scandal that is threatening the world's largest Christian church.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid