Pope Francis said that throughout March, he will empathise with victims of abuse especially those pounced on by members of the Church.
“In response to cases of abuse, especially those committed by members of the Church, it is not enoug to ask for forgiveness,” says Pope Francis in his video-message announcing his prayer intention for March 2023.
He insists that victims must be the protagonists of a response to abuse, saying that “their pain and psychological wounds can begin to heal if they find answers – if there are concrete actions to repair the horrors they have suffered and to prevent them from happening again.”
Pope Francis insists, too, that the Church cannot hide abuse, no matter where it occurs, but instead must serve as a model in its response to abuse – including by shining a light on the issue of abuse in society and in families.
As part of that response, the Church must also “offer safe spaces for victims to be heard, supported psychologically, and protected.”
Let us pray for those who have suffered because of the wrongs done to them from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.