Catholic religious congregations have been invited to take part in the second Catholic Religious Australia National Day of Sorrow and Promise in October, to coincide with the first anniversary of the Prime Minister’s National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.
In a letter to congregational leaders, CRA National Executive Director Anne Walker said the event would take place on Sunday, October 20, from 5pm to 6pm.
“The purpose of the inaugural event last year was to join together as religious across Australia to ensure that we never forget the harm suffered by the young and vulnerable as a result of abuse in our Church,” Ms Walker said.
“The one-year anniversary of the Prime Minister’s National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse at Parliament House in Canberra is Tuesday, October 22.
“So, this year, we will hold the National Day of Sorrow and Promise on Sunday, October 20, the closest Sunday to the anniversary of the National Apology, because the day is symbolic of the profound impact that institutional sexual abuse has had on thousands of lives over many decades in Australia.”
Ms Walker said CRA wishes to call all religious congregations to set aside time and space in unity:
· To offer a national response from Catholic Religious across the country to recognise survivors and all who have been harmed from abuse in the Church and to make a commitment to a safer future. To bring together all congregations and at the same time in a coordinated manner, to make a national gesture of sorrow and promise, with a unified voice and responding to the needs within each individual community;
· To honour those who spoke their stories to break the silence and those who work in the interests of those harmed by abuse and for the safety of the vulnerable.
CRA will provide congregational leaders with a Liturgy of Sorrow and Promise and a Promise Statement, which is a commitment to a safer future.