TOKYO — Catholic bishops in Japan plan to conduct a nationwide survey on sexual abuse of youngsters by members of the clergy, church officers stated Monday.
Archbishop Mitsuaki Takami of Nagasaki, the chief of the Catholic Bishops’ Convention of Japan, shared the plan on Sunday throughout a gathering in Tokyo the place a person spoke of being abused as a younger boy by the hands of a German priest.
“Japan’s Catholic Church is small, and we’re not certain what we will do” about youngster sexual abuse, Archbishop Takami stated by phone on Monday. “However we predict we have now to concentrate to this challenge.”
In response to The Mainichi Shimbun, a Japanese newspaper, bishops from across the nation agreed final week to hold out the survey in all 16 dioceses. The survey methodology has not but been determined.
The Roman Catholic Church faces accusations world wide of protecting up youngster sexual abuse.
In December, Cardinal George Pell of Australia grew to become the highest-ranking church chief to be discovered responsible of sexual abuse, after he was convicted of molesting two boys within the 1990s.
Abuse by church officers has additionally been reported in India, the Philippines and elsewhere within the Asia-Pacific, a area the church considers essential for its continued progress.
In Japan, the bishops’ convention stated in 2002 that it had discovered incidents of kid abuse in its ranks. It issued behavioral tips for bishops the next 12 months, and has up to date them a number of occasions since.
“Regarding this downside we should confess that we have now not adequately fulfilled our duty,” the convention stated in a press release in 2002. “To those that have been harmed we promise now that we bishops will reply to the issue in all sincerity, and that any monks or non secular who’re responsible might be handled severely.”
Nationwide questionnaires of bishops, carried out in 2002 and 2012, discovered that at the very least 5 “injury studies” had been filed over church sexual abuse, The Mainichi Shimbun reported on Monday. The newspaper quoted Archbishop Takami as saying in an interview that the church would think about conducting third-party investigations into youngster sexual abuse instances “as vital.”
In February, the newspaper stated, Archbishop Takami was among the many bishops who traveled to the Vatican for a four-day assembly of Pope Francis and different church leaders to debate youngster sexual abuse. Francis is planning to go to Japan in November, which might make him the primary pontiff to take action in practically 40 years.
Archbishop Takami stated on Monday that he had been invited to the current gathering in Tokyo by Katsumi Takenaka. The Mainichi Shimbun stated Mr. Takenaka, 62, was a public servant who had recognized himself as a sufferer of sexual abuse.
On the gathering, Mr. Takenaka stated that he had been sexually abused as a fourth-grade elementary scholar by a German priest at a foster care facility in suburban Tokyo.
“We’re sorry we’ve not been capable of do sufficient and brought about you to endure,” Archbishop Takami advised Mr. Takenaka as they shook arms, in response to the newspaper.
On Monday, Archbishop Takami stated by phone that the church ought to hearken to victims’ voices and “suppose what we will do” to stop different kids from struggling.
“It took a long time for him to have the ability to communicate out,” he stated of Mr. Takenaka. “It should have been very troublesome.”