Priests should compensate victims, not Church – Mgr Scicluna
Interview with The Sunday Times tomorrow
Victims of clerical sex abuse should receive compensation, but from the perpetrators rather than the Church as a whole, Malta’s new Auxiliary Bishop Charles Scicluna tells The Sunday Times in an interview that will be appearing tomorrow.
Mgr Scicluna, who in his role as Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith had a frontline role in uncovering some of the most difficult abuse scandals, had spoken on the need for compensation after the Maltese bishops’ decision not to make a pay out to victims last year.
When asked if he would be supporting calls for the victims to be compensated, Mgr Scicluna says: “I hope they (receive compensation). When I said previously they deserve compensation I was referring to the principle of natural justice which is personal responsibility. That is, a person who does damage to somebody is liable to pay for that damage.
“I support the stand of the Maltese bishops in offering victims pastoral psychological counselling because they are part of our flock. It’s up to the courts to decide whether there’s going to be monetary compensation.
“I feel that victims have an extra title to the Church’s concern and support. They are members of our family who have been wounded. The people responsible for that need to pay for their sins and for their crimes and they need to pay compensation whereas the Church needs to take care of the victims.”
In a wide-ranging interview, Mgr Scicluna also talks about his nomination and how the Church needs to improve its communication skills.
Read the interview in The Sunday Times tomorrow and watch excerpts on timesofmalta.com.