Kia tau te rangimarie ki a koutou. As you will be aware the
Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse in State Care and Faith Based
Institutions- Faith-based Redress Hearing is holding a public hearing in
Auckland from November 30 to 11 December. This particular part of the hearing
is based on the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church and the Salvation Army,
and will be hearing statements from those who have suffered abuse. In March
next year Church representatives will appear to give their Briefs of Evidence
and to answer questions.
This could well be a tumultuous and difficult time for the
Church in New Zealand, however I ask you to remember that we as the Church
asked to be involved in the Royal Commission. The preparation has not been
easy. It has cost us an enormous amount of time in preparation of material, it
has been difficult financially, but we knew that we needed to be involved. Many
people all around the country have been working hard to prepare and provide the
material the Commission needs to do its work.
Please pray for all of us who are involved. Our hope is that this will
make us a better Church, that we will be able to find out why abuse has
occurred and how we can truly become a church at the service of all.
Sometimes there might be criticism of victims. I have heard
Pope Francis say a number of times “put the victim first.” Victims need to be
heard, to be listened to and to be assured that abuse was not their fault.
Over these next few weeks and months, please pray for
victims and perpetrators, for loyal and supportive Church-goers, and pray that
we will be a Church which brings joy and hope, peace and kindness into the
lives of all, especially those who have been hurt. I assure you that your
prayers will be very much appreciated.
Naku Noa Naku
The following prayers were prayed at the Penitential
Ceremony in Rome in February of last year at the International Meeting “The
Protection of Minors in the Church”. They might be helpful to pray over these
next few weeks and months.
Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we are sinful human
beings. Kyrie Eleison.
We confess that bishops, priests, deacons and religious in
the Church have done violence to children and youth, and that we have failed to
protect those who most needed our care. Kyrie Eleison.
We confess that we have not acknowledged the suffering of
many victims nor have we offered help when it was needed. Kyrie Eleison.
We confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed, in
what we have done and failed to do. Kyrie Eleison.
Lord Jesus Christ, we ask for your mercy on us sinners. Kyrie
We ask forgiveness for our sins. Kyrie Eleison.
We ask for the grace to overcome injustice and to practise
justice for the people entrusted to our care. Kyrie Eleison.
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