The creation of special welcome centers for victims, if effective, could help answer a long-standing complaint from abuse survivors who often report negative experiences with the church hierarchy when they report a priestly abuser. Often they are left in the dark about the progress of their cases and left on their own to try to heal.
Francis in 2019 passed a new church law explicitly saying survivors have the right to know the outcome of their cases, and he also lifted the pontifical secret that covered such investigations to facilitate transparency with victims as well as law enforcement agencies.
But advocates for victims say the church still has a long way to go to adequately address victims and the long-term trauma they experience.
“The testimony of the survivors represents an open wound on the body of Christ, which is the Church,” Francis said.
This article originally appeared on APNews.com.