Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou. As you will be aware the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Abuse in Care and is holding a public hearing in Auckland from November 30 to 11 December. This particular part of the hearing is based on the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the Salvation Army, and will be hearing statements from those who have suffered abuse. In March next year Church representatives will appear to give their Briefs of Evidence and to answer questions.
This could well be a tumultuous and difficult time for the Church in New Zealand, however I ask you to remember that we as the Church asked to be involved in the Royal Commission. The preparation has not been easy. It has cost us an enormous amount of time in preparation of material, it has been difficult financially, but we knew that we needed to be involved. Many people all around the country have been working hard to prepare and provide the material the Commission needs to do its work. Please pray for all of us who are involved. Our hope is that this will make us a better Church, that we will be able to find out why abuse has occurred and how we can truly become a church at the service of all.
Sometimes there might be criticism of victims. I have heard Pope Francis say a number of times “put the victim first.” Victims need to be heard, to be listened to and to be assured that abuse was not their fault.
Over these next few weeks and months, please pray for victims and perpetrators, for loyal and supportive Church-goers, and pray that we will be a Church which brings joy and hope, peace and kindness into the lives of all, especially those who have been hurt. I assure you that your prayers will be very much appreciated.
Naku Noa Naku noa
The following prayers were prayed at the Penitential Ceremony in Rome in February of last year at the International Meeting “The Protection of Minors in the Church”. They might be helpful to pray over these next few weeks and months.
Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we are sinful human beings. Kyrie Eleison.
We confess that bishops, priests, deacons and religious in the Church have done violence to children and youth, and that we have failed to protect those who most needed our care. Kyrie Eleison.
We confess that we have not acknowledged the suffering of many victims nor have we offered help when it was needed. Kyrie Eleison.
We confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, in what we have done and failed to do. Kyrie Eleison.
Lord Jesus Christ, we ask for your mercy on us sinners. Kyrie Eleison.
We ask forgiveness for our sins. Kyrie Eleison.
We ask for the grace to overcome injustice and to practise justice for the people entrusted to our care. Kyrie Eleison.