Archive for October 5th, 2015
There was the man who had been sexually abused as a boy by his priest. The priest who felt shunned within the Catholic Church after he spoke out against such abuse. The husband who had never told his wife about his assault decades earlier. The couple in their 80s who raised seven children in the church but finally, tearfully, decided to leave the pews.
“They’ve all been participants in a healing circle, a pilot program launched in Boston a year ago by the Voice of the Faithful (VOTF), an organization of progressive Catholics formed in 2002 in response to the priest sex abuse scandal. Based on a restorative justice model, the circles allow those who have suffered harm to meet in a small group and tell their stories.
“This month, the organizers seized the occasion of Pope Francis’s US visit to try to win awareness of their project at the highest levels of the church. In a full-page ad in the National Catholic Reporter, VOTF issued an open invitation to the pope to attend a healing circle in New York during his Sept. 24-25 visit. ‘Welcome to the U.S. We invite you to join us in a Healing Circle. Time does not heal all wounds. Some wounds fester, like those the survivors of clergy sexual abuse suffer, and the wounds their families and communities experience. They are broken people, as is their Church,’ the ad read.”
By Bella English, The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Pope Francis on Sunday (Oct. 4) told bishops gathered at the Vatican for the opening of a synod on family issues that the church must stay true to its teachings on the ‘indissolubility’ of marriage between a man and a woman. But he also called on them to be sensitive to the complexity of modern society and not be judgmental of it — and to ‘seek out and care for hurting couples with the balm of acceptance and mercy.’
“The church must be a bridge, not a roadblock, for the faithful, the pope said in his homily during the ceremonial Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica that signaled the beginning of the three-week council, in which bishops from around the world will discuss how the church should respond to the needs of the modern Catholic family.”
By Elisabetta Povoledo, The New York Times — Click here to read the rest of this story.