Newsletter 07th & 14th April 2019
Lent and Day of Prayer for Survivors of Abuse As we come to the end of Lent, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has highlighted the importance of prayer and suggested to Pope Francis that the worldwide Catholic Church should join together in a day of prayer. The Holy Father has welcomed this initiative. On Friday 12 April the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales is encouraging the Catholic community to pray for survivors of sexual abuse. The following is adapted from the words Pope Francis spoke at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin, August 2018. He reflected upon meeting with eight persons who are survivors of the abuse of power, the abuse of conscience and sexual abuse and wished to implore the Lord’s mercy for these crimes and to ask forgiveness for them. Pope Francis prayed: 'We ask forgiveness for the cases of abuse in the Church, the abuse of power, the abuse of conscience and sexual abuse on the part of representatives of the Church. In a special way, we ask forgiveness for all those abuses that took place in different kinds of institutions directed by men and women religious and other members of the Church. 'We also ask forgiveness for cases in which many minors were exploited for their labour. We ask forgiveness for all those times when, as a Church, we did not offer to the survivors of any type of abuse compassion and the pursuit of justice and truth by concrete actions. 'We ask forgiveness for some members of the hierarchy who took no responsibility for these painful situations and kept silent. We ask forgiveness for those children who were taken away from their mothers and for all those times when so many single mothers who tried to find their children that had been taken away, or those children who tried to find their mothers, were told that this was a mortal sin. It is not a mortal sin; it is the fourth commandment! 'May the Lord preserve and increase this sense of shame and repentance and grant us the strength to ensure that it never happens again, and that justice is done. Amen'