Editors’ note: This episode speaks on sexual abuse, trauma, and healing, and contains content that may be disturbing to some listeners.

In today’s episode of Field Hospital, Jeannie Gaffigan and WPI’s own editor, Mike Lewis, talk to Juan Carlos Cruz about his experience as a survivor of clergy abuse, the Church’s response to the sex abuse crisis, and resources that are available for survivors.

Cruz has long used his prophetic voice to speak up for the victims of clergy sexual abuse, both in his home country of Chile and around the world. He did so even when he was not listened to by those in positions of authority, including Pope Francis himself, who accused Cruz and other survivors of calumniating bishops in speaking of their own abuse. Undeterred, Juan Carlos continued to tell his story along with fellow survivors, ultimately resulting in the pope’s change of heart and apology. Francis has since appointed Juan Carlos to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors in 2021.

Juan Carlos’s story can be difficult for us to hear and brings into the light an ugly reality in our Church. But it is from listening to survivors of clergy sexual abuse, as Pope Francis himself has done, that we can all experience greater understanding, a change of heart, and a desire for justice.

Please tune into this important episode of Field Hospital, and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

Image Credit: Vatican News.


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Rachel Amiri is a contributor and past Production Editor for Where Peter Is. She has also appeared as the host of WPI Live. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with degrees in Theology and Political Science, and was deeply shaped by the thought of Pope Benedict XVI. She has worked in Catholic publishing as well as in healthcare as a FertilityCare Practitioner. Rachel is married to fellow WPI Contributor Daniel Amiri and resides in St. Louis, Missouri, where they are raising three children.

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