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HEALING AND CARE


November 2016

ADVICE FOR CHURCH REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

The Commission offers the follwoing principles for meeting with victims/survivors:

 

  • The Church, in the person of the Bishop or his delegate, Religious Superior or his/her delegate should be prepared to listen to the victims and their families, and to be committed to their spiritual and psychological assistance.

  • Dioceses and religious congregations are to reach out to victims/survivors and their families and demonstrate a sincere commitment to their spiritual and emotional well-being. The first obligation of the Church with regard to the victims/survivors is for protection, healing and reconciliation.

  • Each diocese and religious congregation is to continue its outreach to every person who has been the victim of sexual abuse as a minor or vulnerable adult by anyone in church service, whether the sexual abuse was recent or occurred many years in the past. This outreach may include provisions of counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, and other social services agreed upon by the victim/survivor and the diocese and/or religious congregation.

  • Through pastoral outreach to victims/survivors and their families, the diocesan bishop or his representative or the religious superior or his/her delegate is to offer to meet with them, to listen with patience and compassion to their experiences and concerns.

  • Ministry to sex offenders including those who have offended in the Church is also important in the healing of the Church, as well as ensuring that the commitment to provide for a safe environment is clear and strong.

     

Many meetings have taken place with victims/survivors over the past twenty years. Respecting the wishes of these survivors, not all of these encounters have not been publicized. On several occasions, however, helpful summaries have been made public, including:

April 2008
Pope Benedict XVI with survivors in the United States
 

July 2008
Pope Benedict XVI with survivors in Australia

April 2009
Pope Benedict XVI with survivors from the Assembly of First Nations, Canada

April 2010
Pope Benedict XVI with survivors in Malta

September 2010
Pope Benedict XVI with survivors in the United Kingdom

July 2014
Pope Francis with survivors in the Vatican

September 2015
Pope Francis with survivors in Philadelphia, USA

March 2016
PCPM Members with survivors from Ballarat, Australia