A gesture that engages

The Ciase report made it possible to objectify what has happened in the Church since the 1950s. This trying work of truth has shown the extent of the abuses committed by clerics. Establishing and documenting the facts now calls for answers. The bishops will say on Monday, at the end of their Assembly which is currently being held in Lourdes, which they intend to give.

Beforehand, they will meet on Saturday morning on the forecourt of the Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire basilica for a penitential gesture and a time of prayer. They will implore the forgiveness of God for having allowed the ecclesial interests to take precedence over the protection of the most vulnerable for too long, and neglected the reception, listening and care of the victims.

Such a public gesture is necessary. However, it is not without risk, because it can be misunderstood: do ecclesiastical leaders not give in to the easy way by turning to God even though some have had so much trouble turning to the victims to ask them sorry for what they had suffered? This would indeed be the case if the action taken was not followed by any serious commitment in terms of reparation of what can be done and to prevent similar facts from happening again. Monday’s announcements will tell.


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