Philadelphia child sex abuse nonprofit invites Pope Francis to visit

(NBC 10) How do you put an international spotlight on an issue like child sexual abuse which people often don’t like to hear about?

Have the leader of one the largest organized religions in the world stop by for a visit.

That’s what staff of the Philadelphia Children’s Alliance (PCA) are hoping will happen come September.

The nonprofit, which offers care to sexually abused children and works with police to bring their abusers to justice, penned a letter to Pope Francis asking him to visit their facility when he travels to Philadelphia for the upcoming World Meeting of Families conference.

“We really thought that knowing what we know about him, knowing about his interesting commitment to the welfare of children that it would be great to showcase our work to Pope Francis,” Chris Kirchner, PCA’s executive director, tells NBC10.

Based in the city’s Hunting Park neighborhood, PCA operates on a unique model where it provides counseling, forensic interviewing and family advocate services to victims in conjunction with social workers and law enforcement. The Philadelphia Police Department’s Special Victim’s Unit, city prosecutors and Department of Human Services all share space with the PCA in the same combined facility. [More]

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NBC 10