· Vatican City ·

The Pope meets with a group of abuse victims from the Diocese of Nantes

Breaking the silence

 Breaking the silence  ING-048
01 December 2023

On Tuesday afternoon, 28 November, at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis met with a group of victims of child abuse committed by members of the Church. The group from the Diocese of Nantes, France, was accompanied by religious from the Congregation of the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel and the Diocese’s Commission for Recognition and Reparation (crr). Earlier, the group had met with the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in Rome, where a message from the Pope was read and delivered to them. “The subversion of a child’s rights through violence and abuse is a betrayal of our God-given humanity”, the message reads. You, he says, like “many children and vulnerable persons”, have experienced “the greatest evil in a place where you have, together with your families, sought what is true and good”. The Pope affirms that he has asked the Commission to listen to and collect the group’s testimonies on his behalf “so that they may strengthen and inspire our common commitment to eradicate abuse from our Church and our communities. We can only do this together, each doing his or her part to break the silence of abuse”. As the journey together with the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel shows, the text continues, “this silence can be broken if there is an active and respectful openness within the institution itself to listen to what victims and survivors have to say. This is not always easy, and I congratulate all of you for this achievement of walking and learning together in an honest dialogue”.