This year, CRA held its National Day of Sorrow and Promise on Sunday 20 October, to mark the anniversary of the National Apology to Victims and Survivors of Institutional Child Sexual Abuse, delivered by the Prime Minister in October 2018 in Parliament House, Canberra.
“The scars of abuse – sexual abuse and abuse of power – continue to move our Church into greater reflection and action – to learn from past mistakes, to learn from the experiences of survivors and to take concrete action to ensure our Church is a safe place for children and all people,” said Br Peter Carroll FMS, President of Catholic Religious Australia (CRA).
The National Apology was symbolic of the deep impact that institutional sexual abuse has had on thousands of lives over many decades in Australia. CRA believes it is a significant date on which to hold a day of remembrance, a National Day of Sorrow and Promise, which is a response from Catholic Religious across the country.
On Sunday, 20 October, Catholic religious women and men gathered with their communities in solidarity, to recognise the pain and damage caused by abuse, in different cities and towns across the nation.
The National Day of Sorrow and Promise keeps the pain caused by our Church in the hearts and minds of Catholic Religious across Australia so that such a catastrophe never happens again. This profound societal wound needs to be acknowledged so that healing can occur. We remember, we apologise, we pray, we learn from our mistakes and we work towards a safer future.
“As President of CRA, I confirm CRA’s commitment to reform the Church’s practices so that safeguarding is integral throughout the Church’s ministry and outreach in the community and to work with those who have been abused in a compassionate and just way, effecting change within the very heart of our Church,” affirmed Br Peter.
The Liturgy booklet and Promise Statement can be found on the CRA website: https://www.catholicreligious.org.au/national-day-of-sorrow-and-promise-liturgy-booklet