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Church abuse victims speak out in Rome

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Sexual abuse victims are urging more concrete action by priests
  • They say they want an end to symbolic gestures about abuse
  • Cardinals are also meeting for a day of reflection on the issue

Rome, Italy (CNN) -- Victims of clerical sexual abuse planned rallies in Rome on Friday as cardinals held a day of reflection and prayer on the issue.

Members of the group SNAP (The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests) planned to hold signs and hand out flyers urging Roman Catholic cardinals to stop making symbolic gestures about abuse and instead meet with victims and give case files to the authorities.

"SNAP members believe that genuine reformers solicit outside help, rather than merely meeting with one another," the group said in a news release. "They want church officials to turn over files and cases to independent authorities in government and law enforcement."

At the same time, cardinals were meeting Friday at the Vatican to participate in a day of reflection and prayer on several church matters, including the Vatican's response to cases of sexual abuse.

The day of reflection comes ahead of a Saturday meeting, or consistory, at which new cardinals will be created.

CNN's Hada Messia in Rome, Italy, contributed to this report.