February 19, 2021
By Robin Gomes
The Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse, observed on the first Friday of Lent by several local Churches across the globe, is an initiative in response to the request of Pope Francis to all the bishops’ conferences of the world. During the meeting on the “Protection of Minors in the Church”, held in the Vatican on 21-24 February 2019, the Pope asked the presidents of the bishops’ conferences to choose an appropriate day in the liturgical calendar for this purpose. The Australian Catholic Bishops’ Conference marks the day on 11 September in conjunction with the National Day for the Protection of Children.
Prayer and action
According to Father Hans Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, prayer is a fundamental expression of the Christian faith, but action is also needed. Speaking to Vatican Radio, the Jesuit priest, who is also president of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University of Rome, said that alongside action to promote justice, there must also be an effort to change the culture within the Church itself.
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