Papal Message to Symposium on Clergy Sex Abuse

“Healing for Victims Must Be of Paramount Concern in the Christian Community”

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VATICAN CITY, FEB. 6, 2012 ( Here is the text of the English-language message sent by Benedict XVI’s secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the rector of the Gregorian University. The Gregorian is hosting this week a Vatican-supported symposium on clergy sex abuse.

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From the Vatican, 30 January 2012

Dear Father Dumortier,

The Holy Father sends cordial greetings to all the participants in the Symposium “Towards Healing and Renewal”, taking place from 6 to 9 February 2012 under the auspices of the Pontifical Gregorian University, and he assures you of his prayers for this important initiative.

He asks the Lord that, through your deliberations, many bishops and religious superiors throughout the world may be helped to respond in a truly Christ-like manner to the tragedy of child abuse.

As His Holiness has often observed, healing for victims must be of paramount concern in the Christian community, and it must go hand in hand with a profound renewal of the Church at every level. Our Lord reminds us that every act of charity towards even the least of our brethren is an act of charity towards him (cf. Mt 25:40). The Holy Father therefore supports and encourages every effort to respond with evangelical charity to the challenge of providing children and vulnerable adults with an ecclesial environment conducive to their human and spiritual growth. He urges the participants in the Symposium to continue drawing on a wide range of expertise in order to promote throughout the Church a vigorous culture of effective safeguarding and victim support.

Commending the work of the Symposium to the intercession of Mary, Mother of the Church, he gladly imparts his Apostolic Blessing to all the participants, as a pledge of strength and peace in the Lord.

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