Top Vatican Cardinal Admits Church Destroyed Abuse Records

German Cardinal Reinhard Marx told Pope Francis and nearly 200 church officials meeting in Rome to discuss clerical sex abuse that church officials destroyed evidence or failed to even document accusations in the clerical sex abuse crisis. “Files that could have documented the terrible deeds and named those responsible were destroyed, or not even created,” he said during the morning working session in Rome. “Instead of the perpetrators, the victims were regulated and silence imposed on them. The stipulated procedures and processes for the prosecution of offenses were deliberately not complied with, but instead cancelled or overridden.” The admission comes on the last working day of the four-day conference which has focused on transparency and accountability of those accused in the cover up of decades of abuse against children, nuns and vulnerable adults at the hands of predator priests. Victim survivor groups have accused the church of destroying evidence and demanded that they open secret archives chronicling abuse accusations. The crisis summit ends with a penance mass on Saturday. Pope Francis will close the summit with final remarks after mass on Sunday morning in Rome.