Survivors of sexual abuse by members of the clergy have partnered with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn to sponsor a Mass of Hope and Healing this Wednesday. The Most Reverend Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, will be the main celebrant and homilist at the April 15 Mass at 7 p.m. at the Cathedral Basilica of St. James in Downtown Brooklyn.
“There has been much darkness in the past regarding this issue, but it must come out into the light,” said Bishop DiMarzio. “We must own up to past mistakes and seek to heal those who have been abused, and I must take this opportunity to publicly thank those who have come forward to help us shed light into the darkness of this most serious issue. These survivors have shown us that there is hope for healing and have helped us to identify the pastoral resources which our Diocese makes available to assist them on their journey.”
This liturgy originated from the work of the diocesan Office of Victims Assistance Ministry and a group of survivors who have joined forces to pray for the ongoing healing of sexual abuse survivors, their families, the Church, and for continued vigilance toward the protection of children and youth. Attendees will include clergy, survivors, family members of survivors and many others committed to the protection and safety of children.
Healing Intervention team members will be present for anyone wishing to speak to someone in regard to the services provided by the Office of Victim Assistance Ministry.
Bishop DiMarzio’s recent column on the Healing Mass can be read at thetablet.org. He also has a paper published on this issue, titled: “From Shadow to Light and From Scandal to Healing: the Experience of the Diocese of Brooklyn with the Sex Abuse Scandal.”