ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Pope Francis’s Monday meeting with clergy abuse victims at the Vatican is nothing more than an empty gesture, according to a local clergy abuse victim.

“To be brutally honest, symbolism protects no one,” says SNAP’s David Clohessy.

He says concrete actions need to be taken, instead of more discussion.

“Church officials have been meeting with abuse victims for decades, and there’s still very little change in the church when it comes to clergy sex crimes and coverups,” Clohessy says.

Clohessy says the pope needs to order bishops to turn over all of their files about abusing priests to law enforcement, and order bishops to work with clergy abuse advocates to reform child safety laws rather than fighting them.

Papal spokesman Father Federico Lombardi says Pope Francis is sincere in his concern.

“It is not something that is said only to present a positive image without being really behind what he is saying,” Lombardi says.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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