Top Cardinal Tells Vatican Summit that Some Sex Abuse Documents Destroyed

A top German cardinal said Saturday that documents on past sex abuse cases in the church had been destroyed or ignored and urged changes to the Vatican’s legal code of secrecy in such issues to restore trust.

Calling for the publication of statistics on the problem, German Cardinal Reinhard Marx addressed Pope Francis’ four-day sex abuse prevention summit at the Vatican.

He said the church must redefine confidentiality and secrecy in the way it deals with such cases or risk charges of cover-up.

“Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created,” he told the group, according to Vatican News. “Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them.”

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