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Card. Gracias: sexual abuse of minors not only breaks divine law, it is criminal behavior


The second day of the Summit of Sexual Abuse began with prayer before an intervention by the Archbishop of Bombay, Card. Gracias. 

After meeting with victims in his home country and at the Vatican, he said it has left a lasting impression on him. 

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Bombay (India)
“I was numbed and could not speak. I could sense the anger, frustration, hurt, helplessness and bitterness that they felt.”

The theme of the day is accountability and he mentioned three themes he believes are important in achieving that: justice, healing and pilgrimage

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Bombay (India)
“The sexual abuse of minors and other vulnerable people not only breaks divine and ecclesiastical law, it is also public criminal behavior. The Church fully cooperates with civil authorities in these matters to bring justice to survivors and to the civil order.”

The cardinal said others never know how much pain there is inside victims and this suffering should never be minimized. Instead, the Church has one task to do.

CARD. OSWALD GRACIAS
Archbishop of Bombay (India)
“We must repent—and do so together, collegially— because along the way we have failed. We need to seek pardon.”

He concluded with four points for accountability and responsibility for the crisis. First to reclaim the identity of the apostolic college with humility and openness. Second is to summon courage and fortitude in moving ahead. Third is to discern how to handle concrete situations that come up and lastly, to be willing to pay the price of following God's will, even in painful circumstances.