Cardinal O' Malley presides at Mass on day 2 of International Safeguarding Conference in Warsaw, Poland

Card. O’ Malley: Clerical Abuse Survivors, courageous witnesses of faith

Tutela Minorum President Cardinal Seán O’Malley OFM Cap presided at Mass opening day two of an International Safeguarding Conference underway in Warsaw, Poland, for Church leaders and delegates.

Referencing the daily feast of St. Andrew Kim and Companions, Cardinal O’ Malley said: “As one famous theologian once said, it is difficult to suffer for the Church, but it can be even more difficult to suffer at the hands of the Church and of the Church’s clergy.”

He continued “We are gathered here because so many of our brothers and sisters have suffered at the hands of abusive clergy who have perpetrated evil acts by using their office to abuse others or to cover up such abuse. And many times, those who have suffered have been rejected in their suffering when they spoke out. This cannot be what Jesus wants of his Church; this cannot be the Church of a loving and reconciling God. Abuse and its cover up must stop and the wrongs done to God’s people must be corrected.

The courage and witness of so many survivors and their families and their deep concern that others are not harmed in a similar way should be recognized and welcomed. We give thanks to God for their witness and their presence among us. In some unexpected way they are writing the next chapter in the history of those who suffer for the faith. They take their place among the courageous witnesses of the faith, of Andrew Kim and companions, of Fr. Jerzy Popiełuszko and so many others whose sufferings in the name of truth are known to God alone.”

Cardinal O’ Malley concluded: “So, we pray to God so that, in God’s own wise ways, these sufferings may be the seeds of a more resilient, a more loving and a more faithful Church, humbly recognizing its faults and steadfastly committed to seeking justice and reconciliation with those who have been harmed. It is only be working courageously to bring justice and healing to the victims that we ourselves can be healed.”

Our common mission of safeguarding God’s children —will be held in Warsaw Poland from September 19th to 22nd.  It is a joint initiative of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors and the Polish Bishops’ Conference in cooperation with the St. Joseph Foundation

More information is available at the conference website now online in English, Italian and polish

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