French bishops kneel in penance over church’s role in child abuse


A conference in Lourdes recognised that Catholic Church had allowed abuses to become ‘systemic’.

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Senior members of France’s Roman Catholic hierarchy knelt in a show of penance at the shrine of Lourdes on Saturday, a day after bishops accepted the church’s responsibility for decades of child abuse, reports The Guardian

But some of the survivors of the abuse – and lay members supporting them – said they were still waiting for details of compensation and of a comprehensive reform of the church.

In Lourdes, a place of pilgrimage for Christians, roughly 120 archbishops, bishops and laymen gathered at the unveiling of a photo showing a sculpture representing the head of a weeping child.

At the request of the victims, the clerics did not wear their religious clothing for the ceremony.

The wall featuring the photograph will serve as a “place of memory” for the victims. The photo itself was taken by one of the victims of abuse, and the suffering he had endured was detailed in a passage read out by another survivor.

Read more of this report from The Guardian

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