Victims of clerical sex abuse took to the streets of Rome on Thursday to protest against Pope Francis and demand that newly appointed Cardinal-designate Victor Manuel Fernández be removed from his charge of overseeing the Church’s response to sexual abuse.
Gathering in the shade of trees next to Rome’s historic Castel Sant’Angelo, a group of clerical sex abuse victims from 26 countries issued a call for Pope Francis to enact his much repeated “zero tolerance” policy of handling sex abuse cases.
“Archbishop Fernández is the last person that should be running the office that is in charge of all the cases of clergy rape and sexual abuse around the world,” said Peter Isley, a victim of sexual abuse and a founding member of Ending Clergy Abuse (ECA). “How do we know this? Well, you look at a person’s past record.”
“If Pope Francis had consulted the victims from Argentina, this man Fernández would never have been appointed,” Isley added.
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