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Vatican Abuse Meeting: Card. Schönborn (Vienna), listen to the victims, no cover-ups, courage to face the truth

“I am old enough to have lived at a time when beating and slapping at school were common practice. Everyone knew that (almost) nobody was against it. Parents would not complain. The head teacher would not intervene in any way. And we, students, would never think of complaining. This was a long time ago, and would be unacceptable today. Thanks to God, there has been a cultural change”. Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna wrote this today in the section “Answers” of the Heute newspaper. “A cultural change is taking place in the world even on the abuse issue”. There was a time when “violence and sexual abuse was common and accepted” in state and Catholic orphanages. People pretended not to see it, like domestic abuse”, continued Card. Schönborn, who is currently in Rome to attend the meeting on the protection of minors. “I am grateful to Pope Francis for addressing this sad and shameful chapter with courage and decision”. And he concluded: “The people affected, the victims, should come first. They should be listened to. No cover-ups, but the courage to face the truth. And effective measures. Only then will there be a real cultural change”.

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