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Thursday, 25 April, 2002, 07:09 GMT 08:09 UK
Abuse victims upset by Church 'inaction'
Cardinals at press conference
Victims watched the press conference live on television
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By the BBC's Jane Standley
line

As American leaders of the Roman Catholic church expressed their regret at failing to prevent the sexual abuse scandal, some of the victims in the United States said they were disappointed with the outcome of their visit to Rome.

A Vatican press conference was carried live on American television, allowing the men and women who were abused by their priests as children to watch their cardinals explain themselves in Rome.

Some senior layfolk are arguing that the church here will not heal until those responsible resign or are removed from office

While welcoming the plan to have a zero tolerance approach to future abusers, victims have largely expressed disappointment with the church leaders approach to the past.

Essentially, little action will be taken.

Upset

Phil Saviano - who was abused by a priest in the Boston area and who formed a support network to help others - said he was upset that only three churchmen bothered to appear before the cameras.

And he said they were not the leading cardinals who had repeatedly covered up for abusing priests.

This is the heart of the scandal which American Roman Catholics will continue to struggle to come to terms with.

Some senior layfolk are arguing that the church here will not heal until those responsible resign or are removed from office.

They say they will keep up pressure for this to happen and are urging fellow parishioners to withhold financial donations to the church to try to force the issue.

See also:

24 Apr 02 | Americas
Analysis: US cardinals get message
22 Apr 02 | Americas
US Catholics worry for future
16 Apr 02 | Americas
US cardinal welcomes Pope talks
23 Apr 02 | Americas
US press: Senior cardinal 'to go'
23 Apr 02 | Europe
A global scandal
23 Apr 02 | Europe
Text of the Pope's speech
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