The Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM) 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.
The Bishops have chosen Tuesday of the 5th Week of Easter as the Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse — May 17. There were two connected reasons for moving the Day of Prayer from Lent to Easter: this is not a penitential day for the failure of the Church and others to respond to the scourge of abuse but a day of prayer for those who have been abused in a season of hope and new life.
The Isaiah Journey has prepared a range of resources for prayer, action and reflection for use throughout the year which are launched on the day of prayer.
The Isaiah Journey is a working group of the Bishops’ Conference and has grown out of the need for a pastoral-spiritual response to the suffering of victims and survivors of abuse in the Church. Inspired by the writing of the prophet Isaiah, it has three strands: seeking truth; bringing hope; finding healing.
What is important is for the local Church to acknowledge and respond in prayer when it is able rather than restrict its activities to just one day in the year. Much of the material in this resource has been written by and with survivors. Though it is hoped that survivors will be included in any local initiative that may not always be possible.