WelCom March 2019:
Pope Francis summit on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church’ held at the Vatican, 21 –24 February 2019, was in response to his deep concerns to ‘a global problem can only be resolved with a global response’.
The Holy Father opened the meeting with a challenge to the 200 Church leaders gathered from around the world, that in the wake of the sexual abuse crisis they must be committed to change.
The four-day meeting included plenary sessions, working groups, moments of common prayer, listening to testimonies, a penitential liturgy, and a concluding Eucharistic celebration.
Testimonies from survivors of clerical sexual abuse were heard during the opening of the meeting on Thursday morning, 21 February.
Later that day, Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez, Archbishop of Bogotá addressed the meeting focusing on the responsibility of the Bishops to act decisively in all cases of abuse.
Pope Francis invited those gathered in St Peter’s Square to pray for this urgent challenge of our time – clerical sex abuse meeting.
Cardinal John Dew represented the New Zealand Catholic Bishops Conference at the summit. Speaking on the final day from Rome, Cardinal John said, ‘We have received wonderful input and there has been plenty of time for reflection and discussion on this in smaller language groups. We have also heard sad and distressing accounts of abuse from victims. We have more input today, a Penitential Service this morning and then conclude tomorrow with Mass with Pope Francis in the Sala Regia [state hall in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City]. Thank you for your prayers, please keep them going.
Visit www.pbc2019.org/home for more information on the safeguarding summit and its outcomes.