New Delhi: The global organization of prominent clergy abuse survivors and activists, Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA), has invited #HailMary team of Savio Rodrigues and Joseph Kennedy to be part of ECA assembly in Rome, Italy in February 2019.
ECA will be leading actions and protests in Rome during the upcoming papal summit, February 20-24, calling upon Pope Francis to write into universal church law zero tolerance for sexual abuse and cover-up.
Tim Law, President of ECA earlier wrote to team HailMary, acknowledging the teams efforts in India and invited both Savio Rodrigues (Founder and Editor-in-Chief GoaChronicle and IndianExpose) and Joseph Kennedy to be part of ECA from India.
Expected in Rome will be fifty ECA leaders from six continents representing over 21 nations. They will convene in Rome on Monday, February 18. The group’s plans include a Global “March to Zero” led by survivors into St. Peter’s Square on Saturday, February 23. Joining ECA will be leaders from other prominent groups such as SNAP and Bishop Accountability, along with legal reform and human rights advocates.
The Pope called the summit, the first of its kind in Church history, to address the worldwide escalation of the sexual abuse and cover-up crisis. The president of every national bishops’ conference is required to attend.
During the summit, ECA will focus on the global nature of the abuse crisis and why it demands a global solution. The prevalence of clerical sexual abuse is only now beginning to emerge in Africa and Asia, where victims are especially vulnerable and effectively silenced. Two-thirds of the bishops at the summit will be from the developingworld. ECA will also be urging the expansion of international, national and local criminal justice investigations, along with reforms of sexual abuse civil laws.
Although Francis has indicated his personal support for zero tolerance, he has refused so far to write it into church law, an act that would make it universally binding in the Catholic Church. If he did so, bishops would be required to immediately remove from ministry potentially thousands of clerics known to have sexually assaulted or abused children.
Under current church law, clerics can sexually abuse children and vulnerable adults and remain in the priesthood, and bishops who cover up these crimes can remain in positions of authority.