Healing for the Church
The pain, anger, disillusionment and distrust felt by those who have been abused or exploited sexually, physically, emotionally or spiritually – especially when committed by clergy, religious or others in Church ministry – is shared by the whole community of faith, including the vast majority of priests and consecrated women and men who faithfully live out their promises to serve Jesus Christ and his people.
In faith, we know that Jesus, who was himself a victim of injustice and sin, and who will judge the living and the dead, understands the depths of people’s pain and its enduring effect upon their lives and relationships, including their relationship with the Church. The greatest healing of these deep wounds can come only from the Lord and his loving, saving grace.
With eyes fixed on Christ and his goodness and justice, the Archdiocese of Washington also offers various resources here and in its parishes and ministries to help people to persevere, restore hope in the face of scandal, and encourage them in the work of renewal of the Church.
Resources for Priests and Parish Staff to Understand Sexual Abuse:
- Reflection on Scriptural Sources for Renewal by Bishop Robert Barron
- Responding to the Abuse Crisis as Committed Disciples by Sr. Sara Butler
- Theological Lessons of the Abuse Crisis by Sr. Mary Timothy Prokes.
Liturgical Resources for Parishes:
- General Intercession for Sunday Masses: “For young people and our most vulnerable that they remain safe and protected, and for those survivors of abuse whether by power or violence, especially by the clergy who have not lived up to their call to holiness. Let us pray to the Lord.”
- Go to your parish’s or nearby parish’s holy hour to pray for survivors of abuse and the renewal of the Church
- Dedicate a day to prayer and fasting and ask your communities to join you.
- Pray a novena for healing and reparation or ask to host one at your parish – Novena for the Abuse Crisis
- Pray the Rosary, specifically either the Rosary for Healing or praying the Sorrowful Mysteries or Chaplet of Divine Mercy before Mass
- Go to your parish’s or nearby parish’s listening session and evening of prayer.
- Pray for Healing for Survivors of Abuse with this dedicated prayer – Bilingual card
- Simple Prayer (I) from the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors
- Simple Prayer (II) from the Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors
How is the Archdiocese of Washington recognizing and reporting sexual abuse?
Resources for Recognizing and Reporting Sexual Abuse:
- Sexual Abuse Tip Sheet
- Reporting on Child Sexual Abuse
- Darkness to Light End Child Sexual Abuse
- Posters and bulletin inserts from the USCCB Child and Youth Protection website including: Child and Youth Protection Facts and Figures (Spanish); Survivor Outreach Poster (Spanish)
- Parent’s Guide to Protecting Our Children
- The Clerical Sex Abuse Scandal: What Parents Can Do, and How to Talk With Kids
- ADW Office of Child Protection & Safe Environment website
Resources for Healing After Abuse:
- My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints by Dawn Eden
- The Healing Power of Forgiveness by Ray Pritchard
- Anger and Forgiveness by Raymond Richmond
- The Healing Power of the Eucharist by John H. Hampsch