Activists demand Vatican action on Church sex abuse

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Activists demand Vatican action on Church sex abuse

Anti-abuse activists on Friday demonstrated near the Vatican embassy in Italy to demand action into sexual abuse in the Italian Church, amid ongoing discussions on how such an investigation should be organised.

A small group of protesters approached the Apostolic Nunciature building near the centre of Rome, carrying boards with pictures of men and women with blood-stained underwear. One of the protesters had a nun's veil on her head.

They said they took inspiration from a protest in the Estonian capital Tallinn in April in an effort to draw attention to the alleged violence committed by Russian forces against women in Ukraine. In the protest, demonstrators applied fake blood to their underwear and their legs.

"Every victim knows they can't recover from what we have been through, but the greatest wish is that other children do not suffer what we have experienced," said activist Francesco Zanardi.

Zanardi, 51, runs the Rete l'Abuso The Abuse Network and founded a consortium called Beyond the Great Silence in February, along with eight other groups to pressure Italy's Church to agree to an impartial investigation.

Italian bishops are divided over whether a full-scale investigation should be internal, using existing resources, such as diocesan anti-abuse committees, or be conducted by an outside group, possibly comprising academics, lawyers and abuse experts.

They are divided over whether it should go back to the recent past or the recent past.

In this case, the state needs a'super partes' impartial body to manage the situation, but the state has been the only major absent party in this whole issue for years, according to Zanardi.