Archbishop of Ljubljana Asks People to Report Paedophile Priests

By , 23 Feb 2019, 11:29 AM Lifestyle
Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore

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STA, 22 February 2019 - The Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore expects that the ongoing meeting of Catholic Church dignitaries on sexual abuse would result in a handbook on how to handle such cases. Talking to the Catholic Radio Ognjišče on Friday, he also encouraged believers to fight against paedophilia in society.

The meeting, which started yesterday and will run until Sunday, will have to result in "concrete steps, a handbook of sorts, to help handle and resolve such cases," he said.

"This does not mean that we have nothing now. We have everything that was expected, what the Holy See demanded. We have guidelines... but things do need to be upgraded."

He said that he had met a victim abused by a priest. "It is very important to show deep respect for these people, their intimacy and privacy."

He added that his knowledge on the topic was expanding, especially about the far reaching effects of such abuse. "The earlier in childhood it happens, the farther it reaches and marks the rest of [the victim's] life."

"These people definitely need empathy, concrete measures to help their treatment, the healing process. Their families also need this."

He said that good priests are also victims, many are distressed because they are being viewed as potential paedophiles. "They also need support and encouragement."

"But on the other hand this is a part of our penance for the sins of individuals within Church."

He also called on believers to "report sexual abuse if they detect it" instead of spreading rumours "that are no use to anybody".

"If names and concrete matters are known, I expect them to be reported... It is also important that believers seek to uproot this evil from society in general. It is a daunting task but this does not mean we should not attempt it."

He also commented on the launch of an initiative fighting for the protection of victims of sexual abuse perpetrated by priests earlier this week by a group of Catholic Church members, including priests.

He said the Church would cooperate with the initiative but also expressed hope that "this group of people will study the relevant legislation and try to understand why such accusations may not produce the outcomes expected" by those who voice the charges.

"These are complex affairs that demand complex treatment, of course in line with canon law and the legislation of the society in which the cases are reported to the court."

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