February 8, 2012. (Romereports.com)
The purpose of this vigil is to ask for forgiveness. It's part of a four day meeting titled “Towards Healing and Renewal” where bishops and heads of religious orders, are discussing ways to prevent cases of sexual abuse.
It began with 15 minutes of complete silence, in the dark. During that time, photographs of other great tragedies, that happened throughout the last century were displayed, from Auschwitz to Nagasaki.
The vigil was led by Cardinal Marc Ouellet, who serves as the Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops. “We ask you Lord, to forgive us and save us.”
The Cardinal apologized to God and to the victims. Then he recognized the terrible mistakes of the bishops who ignored the victims. He then added it would never happen again. Card. Marc Ouellet
Prefect, Congregation for Bishops
“Sometimes the violence was committed by deeply disturbed persons or by those who had themselves been abused. It was necessary to take action concerning them and to prevent them from continuing any form of ministry for which they were obviously not suitable. This was not always done properly and, once again, we apologize to the victims”.
Afterward, a teacher, the superior of a religious order, a priest, a relative of the victim, a pilgrim and the Cardinal apologized and placed candles at the end of a cross.
Minutes later one of the victims, joined in the prayer, asking God to forgive the abusers. She also asked God to help her forgive the priest who abused her and those who protected him.