BOSTON, Massachusetts, MAY 10, 2002 (Zenit.org).- Cardinal Bernard Law proposed a campaign of prayer to his faithful as a novena for the renewal of the Church in the wake of scandals involving the clergy.
“A grave scandal has been occasioned by the sexual abuse of minors by members of the clergy,” the Archdiocese of Boston explained in a statement published on its Web page www.rcab.org. “This scandal has touched every aspect of the Church´s life.”
The statement continues: “It is manifested in a variety of ways: the harm done to the victims of this abuse and their families; those whose faith has been weakened by the scandal; the offending clergy; the diminished moral authority of the Church´s leaders; mistrust between the faithful and their pastors; a loss of funding for the Church´s ministry to the poor and neglected.”
Given the scandals, Cardinal Law has designated the days between Ascension Thursday and Pentecost Sunday as a special time of prayer, a novena, for the renewal of the Church.
To that end, a prayer to the Holy Spirit has been composed for use during these days leading up to Pentecost.
The prayer can be used in a variety ways: at parish meetings during this time period, or even liturgical gatherings (by the assembly after the Prayer After Communion and before the final blessing and dismissal). It is intended, however, for daily personal use by individual Catholics.
A Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Almighty and merciful God,
by the power of the Holy Spirit
you raised Jesus Christ, your Son, from death
and filled him with new and abundant life.
Then, in accordance with your loving plan,
you sent the Holy Spirit upon the disciples at Pentecost,
that by his mighty gifts they might be joined
to the Risen Lord in his Body, the Church.
By a fresh outpouring of the Spirit´s gifts
give new life to the Church in Boston this Pentecost.
We beg that the Spirit will bring healing
to the victims of clergy sexual abuse and their families.
We pray that the Spirit will warm the hearts
of those whose faith has been weakened by this scandal.
We ask that the Spirit will bestow mercy and
repentance on the abusers.
We earnestly desire that the Spirit will renew and reform
the whole Church in the likeness of Christ.
Fill every member of the Church with holiness so that,
working together as the Body of Christ, we might be
built up in faith, hope and love in order to proclaim
the Gospel with joy.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.