Archbishop Scicluna speaks at Notre Dame about the Vatican's fight against clergy abuse

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - University of Notre Dame students and members of the community listened to Malta Archbishop Charles Scicluna talk about the Vatican's fight against sex abuse.

It took place at the Duncan Student Center.

The question-and-answer session was part of a 2019-2020 forum series called "Rebuild My Church: Crisis and Response," which is intended to examine the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

Scicluna has done a lot in his lifetime, but the child sexual abuse scandals have been a cornerstone in his career. He speaks heart-to-heart with many victims and survivors.

"You are dealing with a human being that has been hurt and betrayed on a level that we cannot really understand. ... It is a spiritual betrayal," Scicluna said.

Some even referred to him as a "point of hope" for the Catholic Church.

"It was Archbishop Scicluna to whom Pope Francis turned to help him deal with what is arguably one of the most intense clerical abuse scandals to erupt anywhere in the world, which has been in Chile," moderator John Allen said.

Scicluna said the church needs more accountability of leadership and wants to make it a law that demands reporting abuse when someone hears or knows it happened.

He said the church has a duty to care for victims of violence and wants every diocese to have a reporting system in place.

"But it's a question of accepting the law and following it," Scicluna said.

Notre Dame students commented on his visit and the scandals.

"It's an opportunity to hear directly from someone who is engaged with the matter on a very deep level. ... We can listen to our feelings and emotions about the subject, but it's also really important to engage in productive discussion," student Katie Lucenko said.

The archbishop said the United States has to move forward and "transform anger as a determination to get it right."

"We are in this together," he added.

If you are interested in viewing the full lecture, visit the YouTube recording.