Prayer is a central, important part of the healing process for victims/survivors and for the whole community of believers. Moreover, public prayer is an important way of raising consciousness in the Church.
In the experience of our Commission, victims/survivors have often expressed a desire for prayer as an important element in their healing process. It was a survivor of clerical child sexual abuse who, in fact, first made the proposal to the Commission for a “Day of Prayer” for all victims/survivors of abuse. The Members then tasked the Working Group on Theology and Spirituality with drawing up the proposal on these pages. The Members accepted the proposal at the February 2016, Plenary Assembly and submitted it to Pope Francis for his approval.
The Holy Father has welcomed the initiative and asked the Commission to continue with the project. The Working Group on Theology and Spirituality is currently completing the texts and resources below. At the direction of Pope Francis, the Commission will then contact each Episcopal Conference around the world. The Holy Father has asked that each conference choose an appropriate day in their nation or territory to hold a Day of Prayer for the victims/survivors of sexual abuse.
Please join us in our simple prayers to make the Church a safe home for all children and vulnerable adults:
Since your mercy has been revealed
In the tenderness of your Son Jesus Christ,
who said to his disciples:
"Suffer the little children to come unto me”,
we pray that your Church may be a secure home
where all children and vulnerable adults are brought closer to your Beloved Son.
May all those who have been abused
physically, emotionally and sexually by your ministers,
be respected and accompanied by
tangible gestures of justice and reparation so that
they may feel healed with the balm of your compassion.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord
who loves and cares for all of your children,
especially the smallest and most vulnerable,
we entrust to you the lives of the many children and vulnerable adults,
who have been sexually abused,
and whose trust and innocence have been destroyed.
Help us to hear their cries of pain
and to take responsibility for so many broken lives.
We pray that within their communities and families
they may find understanding and support so that
with the help of your grace their wounds may be healed,
and they may again know peace.
Grant this through
our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who shared our weakness in all things but sin,
and lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit forever and ever.