Victims March to Rome to Demand ‘Zero Tolerance’ on Church Abuse

A group of Catholic Church abuse victims and their advocates on Wednesday called on Pope Francis to enforce “zero tolerance” against clerical sex abuse, after completing a six-day pilgrimage to Rome carrying a large wooden cross.

The 10 men and women walked 130 kilometres (81 miles) along the last stretch of the Via Francigena, a medieval trail that connects Canterbury, England, to Rome, ahead of a major Vatican summit on the future of the Church, starting next week.

The pilgrimage “shows the determination of survivors to come to deliver their message to Pope Francis … that there must be a universal law of the church of zero tolerance,” said U.S. attorney Timothy Law, co-founder of Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA).

“Anything less than that is not adequate”, he added.

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