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Rome Reports

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Pope prays before victim and asks God for courage to speak the truth and recognize sin

One of the last meetings of the unprecedented Summit against Abuse was this penitential liturgy, to ask forgiveness from God and the victims.

"Trusting in your love and kindness, we ask you to give us the courage to tell the truth, and wisdom to recognize that we have sinned and that we need your forgiveness."

After listening to the Gospel parable of the Prodigal Son and a homily by a bishop from Africa, a victim of abuse spoke.

The victim is Chilean, but resides in Germany. With a choked up voice, he said that every day he has flashbacks of what happened to him.

"Now it's over and I can move on. I must move on. If I surrendered now or stopped, I would let this injustice interfere in my life."

Then he took his violin and played a Bach composition. It was to convey the hope with which he is trying to start over.

Next, one of the participating cardinals, Spanish Ricardo Blázquez, read an intense examination of conscience.

“What abuses have been committed against children and young people by clergy and others in the Church of my country? What do I know about the people in my diocese who have been abused and violated by priests, deacons and religious?”

Afterward, the Cardinal of Wellington, New Zealand, John Dew, read a petition for forgiveness on behalf of everyone.

“We confess that bishops, priests, deacons and religious in the Church have done violence to children and youth, and that we have failed to protect those who most needed our care.”

“Kýrie, eléison.”

A concluding speech by Pope Francis was not part of the program, therefore, the ceremony concluded with his blessing.