A Day of Prayer, for the victims of sexual abuse, was held yesterday, July 16, 2019, in the premises of the Pontifical University of Mexico.
For the third consecutive year, the National Council for Protection of Minors and the Center of Research and Inter-Disciplinary Formation for the Protection of the Minor (CEPROME) — affiliated to the Pontifical University of Mexico –, organized the Day.
The event was presided over by Monsignor Alfonso Miranda Guardiola, Secretary-General of the Mexican Episcopate’s Conference (CEM) and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Monterrey, as well as Coordinator of the National Council for the Protection of Minors.
During the ceremony, Monsignor Miranda said that over a few years, the attitude of our generation in face of “the horrendous sexual abuse,” perpetrated by members of the Church’s clergy will be examined. “If we were indifferent, negligent, or cowardly, or if we were sensitive, responsible, humble and courageous to apply the rectifications and corrections that we had to do.”
The Episcopate’s Secretary also said that “we have to admit that many times the Church — in the persons of her Bishops and Superiors — did not know and, on occasions, still do not know to behave as they should, to address with speed and determination the crises caused by the abuses.”
He went on to say that this “clericalist” way “of acting, “has led us to put the badly understood good of the ecclesial institution, above the pain of the victims and of the demands of justice; to put above the testimony of those affected the justifications of the victimizers; to keep a silence that silences the cry of pain of the victimized so as not to face the public uproar that a complaint to the civil authority could arouse, even going so far as to lie or distort the deeds to not admit the horrible reality that exists.”
He also said that the “first enemies are within ourselves” and he stressed that there is no justification for failing to “denounce, to unmask, to confront with courage and forcefulness any abuse that appears in the interior of our Church; and that the rights of the “victimizers” cannot be put before those of the victims.
He also pointed out that the pain and consequences, already occasioned, are so immense “that we will never be able to say we have done what is sufficient” and that it’s the Church’s responsibility to work so that abuses are not repeated, as well as to punish and repair for those that are perpetrated.
In cases of civil or canonical prescriptions of the crimes, the Church has the moral obligation to “receive, accompany, repair, heal and console the victims, because wounds never prescribe.”
Summit for the Protection of Minors
Monsignor Miranda referred to the summit for protection of minors — held in Rome last February — after which he, together with three other leaders of CEM, met with the Pope to confirm that their position “is with the victims and in favor of the victims, reason for which he asked the Bishops and Superiors of Mexico that any case that appears be prosecuted, as stated in “the last papal documents, namely, ‘As a Loving Mother,’ and the Motu Proprio ‘You Are the Light of the World,’ in addition to the civil laws of our nation.”
He also pointed out that the Bishops are called “more than ever” to strengthen fraternal bonds, “to enter in a true community discernment, to act always with the same criteria and to support one another in taking decisions.”
Finally, he said that “with the help of the Lord and our docility to his grace,” it’s possible that the crisis will entail a “profound renewal of the whole Church,” in which so many Bishops, as well as priests, consecrated and secular persons will be co-responsible “in the building of a trustworthy Church, just, humble and credible, always a safe place that fosters her human growth and growth in the faith.”