Catholic group urges independent inquiry into church sex abuse

Ljubljana – A Catholic advocacy for victims of sexual abuse in the Slovenian Catholic Church has urged appointing a properly-funded independent commission to investigate and crack down on the abuse as soon as possible.

The group called Dovolj.je (It’s Enough) is headed by Janez Cerar, the first Slovenian priest to speak out about being a victim of sexual abuse in the Church once himself.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, he was critical of the lengthy procedures to investigate sexual abuse within the Church and of what he said was a lack of empathy for the victims.

He believes the Slovenian Catholic Church is more attentive to paedophilia among the clergy and more active in cracking down on the problem as it used to be but still not to a sufficient extent.

He would not talk about numbers of abuse cases, asserting that the focus should be on the depth of experience suffered by the victims. “The victim’s crying out matters and it’s our duty to help them.”

To crack down on sexual abuse more consistently he proposed appointing an independent commission to grapple with the problem.

He urged bishops to find a person of high moral integrity to appoint a lead such a commission and to give the commission the room and the necessary funding for its work.

“The commission should be comprised of people with empathy, moral integrity, who will rely on the power of arguments, be politically irreproachable and won’t defend the institution but will advocate for human dignity,” he said.

Talks on forming the commission are ongoing but Cerar could not say when one could be appointed.