Statement of Mgr. Peter at the end of the 10am Mass on 14th February 2021, regarding the announcement of the National Day of Prayer for Victims of Abuse on Friday 19thFebruary 2021
This Friday coming, the first Friday of Lent, is the National Day of Prayer for Those who have Suffered from Abuse.
Now clearly it refers in the first place, sadly, to the tragic reality of people who have been sexually abused by clergy. But it also refers to those who have been abused by lay people in the context of the Church and to any situation of abuse that has taken place in the context of parish life or diocesan life or anything to do with the Church.
But I would also invite anyone else who has suffered from abuse in their homes, or in other institutions, to be part of this and to feel the power of the prayer of the Church. That is the first way, the best way, to bring healing not just to the souls and hearts of those who have been abused but also to the hearts and minds of those of us who have been scandalized by this abuse in the Church.
Of course we need to pray for the repentance of those who have perpetrated the abuse. Christ shed his blood on the Cross for them, too. So, while we want justice and truth, we also need forgiveness and healing, and that’s for everyone across the board.
So, the purpose of this prayer is to allow the power of the Spirit to bring good, believe it or not, out of this horrible mess, because God is capable of doing that if we work with Him.
I need only repeat, and I hope it is obvious, that anyone who has been a victim of abuse in the context of parish life and who has not yet come forward – it might be historic abuse, it might be more recent – but, whatever it may be, do please get in touch with me, or with Mr. Gordon Sutherland here in Largs, who is our Parish Safeguarding Coordinator, and we will welcome you, we will listen to you with open hearts, we will offer you our support, we will do whatever is necessary to bring the matter to its proper solution and conclusion, So, please know that our hearts and our doors are open for you, if you need to come forward.
Post Script: As regards Millport, the invitation to report abuse is equally valid. At the moment, we have no Parish Safeguarding Coordinator there, but that is being looked into. Any report, therefore, can be made directly to myself or, if someone prefers, directly to the Diocese.