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National day of sorrow and promise

National

In a collective response from Catholic religious orders across the country, religious women and men held a National Day of Sorrow and Promise on the first Sunday of Advent and the start of a new Church year.

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Catholic Religious Australia (CRA) says the initiative reflects a new way of being Church in Australia.

The day acknowledged survivors of abuse within the Catholic Church and all those who have been hurt by that abuse. Underpinning this, is a clear promise for a better, safer future.

“Action is happening. The process is already under way to reform the Church’s practices to ensure that safeguarding is integral in all that we do as part of our ministry and outreach in the community. This is at the heart of our mission,” said Sr Monica Cavanagh rsj, president of Catholic Religious Australia.

“We are committed to implementing these recommendations and reforming our governance and our culture.”

While this reform is underway, Sr Monica is clear: “We must continue to hold and honour those who spoke their stories to break the silence.”

In addition to apologising again for the tragedy of abuse, the purpose of the day was also to acknowledge those who work in the interests of persons harmed by abuse and those who work for the safety of the vulnerable.

Catholic Religious women and men gathered in solidarity to recognise the pain of abuse in collaboration with their own local communities on December 2. A Liturgy of Sorrow and Promise was held from 5pm to 6pmin different cities and towns across the nation.

“Our commitment to safeguarding is founded on our faith in Jesus Christ who teaches the fundamental sanctity of each human person,” Sr Monica said.

“Safeguarding must now and always be at the heart of all that we do as part of our ministry and outreach in the community.”

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