In the video, produced by Vatican News for the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network, Pope Francis says: “In response to cases of abuse, especially to those committed by members of the Church, it’s not enough to ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is necessary, but it is not enough.
“Asking for forgiveness is good for the victims, but they are the ones who have to be “at the centre” of everything. Their pain and their 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.
“The Church cannot try to hide the tragedy of abuse of any kind. Nor when the abuse takes place in families, in clubs, or in other types of institutions. The Church must serve as a model to help solve the issue and bring it to light in society and in families.
“The Church must 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,” says Pope Francis.
Responding to the video, Bishop Peter Collins said: “In this recent broadcast Pope Francis expresses the commitment of the universal Church to place victims / survivors of abuse at the centre of all our safeguarding policies, procedures.
“This is not a declaration that merely offers a structural response to the issues but is rather an expression of our determination to ensure that the Church is a model for ‘safe spaces’ and an exemplar in the provision of support for the vulnerable – practical, psychological and spiritual.
“The words of the Holy Father address a global panorama but also cascade down to the local landscape and must be imprinted upon the life and ministry of every parish and pastoral scenario.
“As Bishop of East Anglia I offer my own declaration of commitment to the safeguarding of all, a commitment that focuses upon those who are most vulnerable in our midst. In the light of the Gospel, every member of the Church is duty bound to the embrace of this commitment.”
You can watch the video below or at: https://youtu.be/QwxyFuR7j8U
Video and picture courtesy of Vatican News.