National apology an important step for our Nation and our Church: Fr Astill
On the occasion of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse
Monday, October 22, was a very important day for Australia as a nation and the Church made up of some of its members.
It was a day of gatherings of diverse people; the national gatherings provided the opportunity for connections with leaders like the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, both of whom spoke volumes to people in well-chosen words from their hearts as well as their heads.
As an Archdiocese, a good sized crowd turned up at St Peter Chanel Church, Yarralumla, to commune firstly with our leader, the Lord God, and our human leader, Archbishop Christopher Prowse.
It was a Holy Hour with the Blessed Sacrament, entitled ‘A Liturgy of Lament and Healing’.
We did what we do best when we gather in faith: we prayed together in speech, song and silence. Everything had been carefully and lovingly prepared, in terms of the words (of poetry and prose) we spoke, the hymns we sang and one extended period of silence and a number of shorter periods for personal reflection.
“We gathered ‘to seek God’s merciful love which forgives and heals’, through reparation we wanted to make amends for the sins of those in the Church who abused children, who failed to listen, who failed to act, when they should have.”
Our national leaders
Here are two quotations from our political leaders mentioned above: Scott Morrison “(People came to hear) a sorry that dare not ask for forgiveness” and Julia Gillard “While we cannot fully erase the pain of the past, we can help to ease its burden”.
These two sensitive statements show a depth of understanding, compassion and care that rise above the all too common ‘cut and thrust’ of political pronouncements. This is good news.
OFFICIAL STATEMENT – CATHOLIC RELIGIOUS AUSTRALIA