Vatican City, February 21 (RHC)-- As Pope Francis convened a Vatican summit on sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, explosive new revelations of abuse and cover-up by members of the clergy continue to emerge.
A new report published by The Washington Post reveals that Pope Francis was personally aware of multiple sexual abuse allegations at three Catholic schools for deaf children in Italy and Argentina, yet did not intervene to stop the abuse or punish those responsible.
Survivors wrote letters to Pope Francis and even visited him at the Vatican in 2015. Ex-students say they were repeatedly molested, raped, tied up and slapped.
Earlier this week, a group of women, including survivors of sexual abuse by church leaders, held a press conference in Rome ahead of the Vatican’s summit. One survivor, Barbara Dorris, told reporters: “Church officials have framed this as a homosexual issue, for a couple of reasons. It takes away from the real focus on the problem, which is criminal sexual assault, and it acts as a smokescreen: You have people now discussing homosexuality rather than the crimes themselves. And homosexual issues automatically remove the women from the discussion, and, magically, half the victims have been made to disappear.”