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Netherlands: Bishops calling to a special prayer “for victims of sex abuse” and “to do all one can to watch out and prevent it

The Dutch bishops ask all parishes to “make a special intercessory prayer at Sunday Mass on September 15th and 16th for the victims of sexual abuse and do all they can to watch out and prevent it”. This is written in a release posted on the website of the Bishops Conference, which refers to the investigations published over these days “across the world” about abuse committed within the Church and “Church leaders’ inadequate response”. The release speaks of the bishops’ “pain and shame” and the believers’ “incurable sufferings”. The bishops, who a few days ago had already published a notice in response to Pope Francis’s letter of August 20th, ask “to do all one can” to turn “the pain and despondency that are felt in the Church right now” into support “for the victims of sexual abuse, that it may help heal them”, and to “keep taking care of preventing sex abuse, so that everyone, including children and young people, may feel safe in the Church”. “This won’t be possible”, the notice goes on, “without the respite of prayer and the celebration of the Sacraments”. Along with the text of the recommended prayer, the release reiterates that the Dutch Church has deployed measures to “acknowledge, heal and assist” the victims of abuse and a code of conduct that makes it “a safe place for children and young people”.

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