Expert Says Church More Focused on Laudato Si’ than Child Protection

A leading expert says that the Catholic Church still has a long way to go in acknowledging and being aware of sexual abuse, pointing out that the pope’s environmental encyclical Laudato Si’ is often more visible in the Church than safeguarding.

Speaking during a June 30 webinar session on “Victimology and the relational safety model,” Dr. Gabriel Dy-Liacco noted that the Catholic Church’s response to abuse complaints has changed over time – from sending priests to treatment centers only to recycle them back into ministry somewhere else, to enforcing administrative leave when a complaint comes in, to a stricter adherence to restrictions on ministry when victims made allegations.

“Historically, unfortunately, Church leaders have focused their response on priests, not victims, and these responses were all done in secrecy. They lacked transparency,” he said, noting that while Church leaders are beginning to understand the issue better, there is still a long way to go.

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