“Asking for forgiveness is not enough” Pope Francis demands answers, actions, and safe spaces for victims of abuse.
This month’s message is dedicated to all the people who have been victims of abuse, “especially to those committed by members of the Church,” that they may “find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.”
For Pope Francis, victims are the ones who should be “at the center of everything”; they are the ones who need “answers; concrete actions to repair the horrors they have suffered and to prevent them from happening again.”
Text of Message
In response to cases of abuse, especially to those committed by members of the Church, it’s not enough to ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is necessary, but it is not enough. Asking for forgiveness is good for the victims, but they are the ones who have to be “at the center” of everything. Their pain and their psychological wounds can begin to heal if they find answers —if there are concrete actions to repair the horrors they have suffered and to prevent them from happening again.
The Church cannot try to hide the tragedy of abuse of any kind. Nor when the abuse takes place in families, in clubs, or in other types of institutions. The Church must serve as a model to help solve the issue and bring it to light in society and in families. The Church must offer safe spaces for victims to be heard, supported psychologically, and protected.
Let us pray for those who have suffered because of the wrongs done to them from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.
Pope Francis – March 2023