Catholic Church opens doors for victims to report sexual abuse cases

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The Roman Catholic Church-Ghana, the Accra Diocese to be precise, has begun investigations into allegations of sexual abuses levelled against some priests.

A letter written by a member of the Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Dansoman on Friday, September 24 notified the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra about the several cases of sexual abuse against members.

In a swift response, just four days later, Most Reverend John Bonaventure Kwofie gave an assurance that the cases would be looked into as he makes arrangement for the lady to meet the Accra Archdiocesan Officer in charge of Sexual Abuse Cases “to furnish him with all the information you have on this matter”.

Speaking on TV3‘s Midday Live on Monday, October 11, Reverend Father Wisdom Larweh, who is the Priest in charge of Child Abuse and Clerical Sexual Abuse Cases, admitted that it takes courage for one to come out to complain about such cases.

“Sometimes, a lot of shame and embarrassment go into this and it takes very strong-willed persons to step out and say I have suffered this and I have gone through this and so I need some redress,” Rev Fr Larweh told news presenter Komla Adom.

But he assured that the Roman Catholic Church will go all lengths to ensure that it gets to the bottom of each reported case.

“I don’t think the church will on any day distress someone or do anything to ask anyone to discontinue an effort that is meant to unravel any situation of abuse or somebody suffering any violence in the hand of a cleric of the church.

“I don’t think that will be encouraged. This is all part of the reason why such office will be functioning and just to assure the listening public and the viewing public that on any day, if there are any of such situations kindly do not hesitate to report them to us so that the church can take up the matter and we will try as much as possible to do the best that we can.”

The Roman Catholic Church across the world has in the last few decades been plagued with an avalanche of child abuse accusations.

The most recent being the abuse of 216,000 children by members of the clergy in France since 1950.

A Vatican statement said Pope Francis “felt pain” over the findings, and expressed hopes for a “path of redemption”.

Rev Fr Larweh said the cases in Accra will not be covered up, neither will they be dealt with openly in order for the identity of victims to be protected.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana