Vatican, 17 May, 2023 / 12:30 pm (ACI Africa).
Pope Francis on Wednesday met briefly with a group of abuse victims who undertook a bicycle pilgrimage from Germany to Rome this month to ask the pope to do everything in his power to heal and prevent abuses in the Catholic Church.
The group, from the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, also delivered a letter to the Holy Father following his weekly general audience and presented him a gift: a sculpture of a heart by artist Michael Pendry.
“The work does not show a usual, romantic heart,” the group explained in its letter to the pope. “The heart has many open parts, allows introspection, it is angular and wounded. We as people who have been abused can easily find ourselves in this depiction. It is also so in our inner selves, in the center of our being, in the center of our heart!”
In all, 15 abuse victims arrived in Rome this week after setting off on bicycles on May 6 from Munich, the capital of Bavaria in southern Germany.
The bicyclists made several stops along their journey to Rome, including in Bolzano, in northern Italy, on May 8, where they were greeted by Bishop Ivo Muser of the Diocese of Bolzano-Bressanone, and by Cardinal Reinhard Marx, the archbishop of Munich and Freising.