By Joe Bukuras/Catholic News Agency
Pope Francis’s prayer intention for the month of March is for victims of abuse.
“In response to the cases of abuse, especially to those committed by members of the Church, it’s not enough to ask for forgiveness. Asking for forgiveness is necessary but it is not enough,” the Holy Father said in a video released by the Vatican March 2.
“Asking for forgiveness is good for the victims, but they are the ones who have to be at the center of everything,” Pope Francis said.
“Their pain and their psychological wounds can begin to heal if they find answers — if there are concrete actions to repair the horrors they have suffered and to prevent them from happening again. The Church cannot try to hide the tragedy of abuse of any kind. Nor when the abuse takes place in families, in clubs, or in other types of institutions,” the Holy Father added.
Pope Francis said the Church must serve as a model “to help solve the issue and bring it to light in society and in families.”
“The Church must offer safe spaces for victims to be heard, supported psychologically, and protected,” he said.
“Let us pray for those who have suffered because of the wrongs done to them from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering,” Pope Francis concluded.
The Vatican’s initiative that promotes the Holy Father’s prayer intentions each month is called the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network.
The video is available in 21 languages, according to its website. More information on the pope’s intention for this month can be found here.