International memory day for victims and survivors from sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

Below you will find a letter from Rik Devillé, the Belgian whistleblower priest who has been fiercely defending victims of sexual violence by members of the clergy since 1998. Previously (1992) he had written a book called “The Last Dictatorship”, about the Pope and the Vatican, which resulted in him being called a “dissident”. He does not care about the Vatican. He cares about people.  See NCR article by clicking here.

Since 1998 he, and the members of his survivors group called “Mensenrechten in de Kerk” (Human Rights in the Church) have helped, with a never ending courage and energy, hundreds and hundreds of Belgian survivors of sexual violence by clergy. The count today, is at 851. ( Belgium has about 10 million inhabitants).

Every year the group organizes a special event on the Saturday preceding Easter , called “Silent Saturday”.  This year the event will take place on April 19.  The event is to commemorate all survivors of sexual violence by a member of the clergy. The day is symbolical, because, of course,  as we will never be silent about what happened. We must not be silent so that what happened is never forgotten.

This letter by Rik is an invitation for other survivor groups or individuals, and their families, to participate in this symbolical but significant action….Maggy Stelling

Letter from Rik Deville:

In order to never forget the suffering, the dying and seeking for recognition and resurrection, the victims and survivors of sexual and power abuse in the Catholic Church commemorate every year worldwide on Silent Saturday at 3 p.m. this abuse. They light a candle at home or wherever they are, not for themselves but for fellow-sufferers, local and worldwide.

Individuals or groups wishing to join this action put a burning candle in a symbolic place (or in their church next to the 13th station of the Way of the Cross on Silent Saturday) with the text “Esse est percipi (to be is being perceived), survivors of sexual abuse in the catholic church”.

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One Response to International memory day for victims and survivors from sexual abuse in the Catholic Church

  1. Magy Stelling says:

    I would ask each reader of Concerned Catholics of Montana to take part in this Day of Remembrance. It is important for the healing of clerical abuse survivors to be shown support by every member of The Body of Christ.

    Support of survivors can also be shown by:
    (1) Contacting your Parish Priest and ask an announcement be made concerning this event and urge participation of the congregation..
    (2) Being aware of which Dioceses are complying with the Dallas Charter and those that are not in compliance.
    (3) Becoming aware of how Pope Francis is attempting to face this problem with his newly formed panel of hierarchy and laity.
    (4) Following the investigation by the Vatican of the clerical abuse problem in Scotland.
    (5) Following the Australian Royal Inquiry into the Abuse of Children in All Institutions as it concerned the the Catholic Church. (The next inquiry concerning the Church will begin April 28)
    (6) Being aware that when the word “victim” is used it refers to those who could not bear the pain in later life and committed suicide. Showing compassion to their families and praying often for their healing.
    (7) Binge aware that you as an individual can accomplish much by your awareness of this phenomenon, by your prayers, empathy, compassion and support.
    (8) Acknowledging the fact that if you refuse to talk about these issues, refuse to call for accountability of prelates who covered up this problem or simply wish the topic would go away then you are part of the problem.
    (9) Understanding that the survivors call for justice in our courts is because of how they were treated when they first found the courage to address their assault to a member of the Clergy especially the hierarchy. For the most part it is not caused by greed for the attorney or the survivors.
    (10) Most important when your hear or read of a member of the hierarchy who represent you or the world wide Church being questioned in court or by a responsible public entity asking the question “Is there a Catholic morality in his answer?”

    Chief Justice Peter McCelland asked “Is there any morality in your directives?” to Cardinal Pell when reviewing Cardinal Pell’s directive to Church attorneys in the case of John Ellis (a survivor) against the Trustees for the Diocese of Sydney, Australia. Sadly Cardinal Pell acknowledged there was none.

    Pray for our Church to face this issue with integrity, pray for the healing of the survivors, and pray for the courage of all laity and ordained to acknowledge there is much more work to be done to heal both our world wide Catholic Church and its members who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy and have had their allegations covered up by the hierarchy.

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