Bishop to lead prayers for abuse victims

Bishop Brendan Leahy

A day of prayer for victims and survivors of abuse is to be marked with the lighting of a ‘candle of atonement’ by Bishop Brendan Leahy in acknowledgement of the suffering of victims at the hands of church representatives.

Bishop Leahy will celebrate a special Mass at St. John’s Cathedral this Friday at 5:45pm.

The National Day of Prayer and lighting of candles also precedes a four-day abuse summit in Rome next week when the Presidents of bishops’ conferences from around the world will reflect on the issue and help them with developing and enhancing existing safeguarding policies.

Speaking ahead of Friday’s ‘Day of Prayer’, Bishop Leahy said that atonement for the sins of the Church is a necessity.

“First and foremost, we think of the victims themselves and the dreadful impact it had on them. We think of victims’ families and how they were left to carry the hurt also. We think of the wider church and how the abuse destroyed trust for so many in their Church and challenged their faith.

“We think also of all those working in the Church; laity, clergy and religious who had no hand or part in this.  Yet they, too, have had to carry the shame and see trust in them eroded also as a result of what others did…we must not allow the dreadful deeds of Church representatives to take our prayer and faith away from us.”