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Sweden: Card. Arborelius, letter on abuse prevention. “The wicked must not spread their poison throughout the Church”

Cardinal Anders Arborelius of Stockholm has written a letter to the faithful of his diocese to say that “many of us” feel “distressed when we hear of abuse committed by priests and cover-up attempts”: cases that cause “unspeakable pain and shame”. One may feel powerless and deceived, but the Cardinal calls on everyone to “engage in the prevention of future abuse and to make the Church a safe place for all”. Since 2001, a “contingency plan against child sexual abuse” has been in place in the Diocese of Stockholm together with a formation programme for priests, catechists and people working with youth. The Cardinal also announces that the Diocese will hire a person full time to assist in abuse prevention; but everyone’s help is needed, “especially to ensure that abuse suspects are reported to the police”. The Cardinal invites everyone to “urgent” prayer so that “the Lord may save us” from this “horrible” threat to children: “The wicked cannot continue to spread their poison throughout the Church”; we must pray “for all children and young people”, for the bishops “who are struggling vigorously” against this scourge, “for all priests” that they may “live a chaste and holy life”, and particularly “for the Holy Father that he may receive wisdom and light from the Holy Spirit, for there is a danger that some people may exploit this difficult situation to undermine his mission as the Successor of Peter”.

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