Rome Newsroom, 05 November, 2021 / 8:00 pm (ACI Africa).
As Catholic bishops from across France meet this week at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes to discuss a landmark report on abuse, Pope Francis sent a letter urging the bishops to console victims and care for the “wounded and scandalized holy people of God.”
“As you weather the storm of shame and tragedy over the abuse of minors in the Church, I encourage you to carry your burden with faith and hope, and I carry it with you,” Pope Francis wrote in the letter dated Oct. 14 and published on Nov. 3.
“I am sure that together, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, you will find ways to honor and console the victims; to exhort all believers to penance and conversion of heart; to take all necessary measures to make the Church a safe house for all; to take care of the wounded and scandalized People of God; and finally, to take up the mission with joy, looking resolutely to the future.”
The French bishops are meeting at the Marian shrine for their plenary assembly, taking place on Nov. 2-8.
The meeting comes a month after the publication of an independent report estimating that hundreds of thousands of children were abused in the Catholic Church in France over the past 70 years.