SIGNIS has emphasised the duty of Catholic communicators to “take up the pain of the victims and the defenseless”. This is in response to the recently emerging stories of the sexual abuse of minors by clergy in the Church community.
In his August 20 Letter to the People of God, Pope Francis stated: “The pain of these victims is an anguished cry that reaches to the heavens…But this cry was stronger than all efforts to silence it, including attempts to resolve the matter that crossed over into complicity, compounding the gravity of the abuse.”
The August 27 statement by Fr Luis Garcia Orso SJ, the Ecclesiastical Assistant of SIGNIS said that Catholic communicators must stand in solidarity with the victims and insist on transparency and truthful reporting of the facts as an avenue to renewal of the Church.
“Our mission as communicators is to always call for a search for truth, truth that is discerned in the light of the Gospel. We seek a profound moment of reconciliation that is neither a justification nor a form of complacency in the face of what happened.”
The message went on to explain in Pope Francis’ words, that ‘solidarity’, must be understood in “its deepest and most challenging sense” so the victims can find a “helping hand that protects them from their pain” and also provides them a space where “conflicts and tensions can be resolved”.
Such solidarity requires a denunciation of “everything that threatens the integrity of any person. It is a solidarity that takes up the fight against all forms of corruption, especially the spiritual…”
In closing, Fr Garcia Orso invites the body of the Church to full participation in transforming both Church and society and to commitment “so that our communication may be in favor of truth, justice and charity, because the love of Christ compels us to look upon those who suffer, and because only the truth makes us free and redeems our fragile humanity.”