NEWARK - While Pope Francis was visiting the United States, he used some of his time to talk about the topic of sexual abuse within the clergy. The pope met with five sexual abuse victims, including two who were abused by members of the clergy.
While some people have been critical of the pontiff's lack of action, the Archdiocese of Newark is holding itself up as an example of how reforms are taking shape within the church.
Newark Archbishop John Meyers has said, "We also extend our apology and our assurance of support and help to those who have been harmed and who are seeking healing and support."
There have been 19 priests removed from the diocese since 2001. The diocese has provided compensation to victims, as well as a social worker and counseling for those alleging abuse.
The diocese has also implemented background checks and sex abuse training for clergy and other employees.
However, some victims say that all this is not enough.
"They want an acknowledgement that it was not their fault. They want the church to stop fighting us," says Robert Hoatson, a former priest who counsels victims of abuse.
He says that bishops continue to block attempts to lift state statutes of limitations that determine if abusers can be charged criminally. Hoatson also says that Pope Francis must do more to improve a Vatican tribunal set up to examine bishops who allow clergy accused of sexual misconduct to continue in the ministry.
The Vatican tribunal was announced in June.