To be held from February 21 to 24, the Protection of Minors in the Church meeting will involve plenary sessions, working groups, common prayer, listening to testimonies, a penitential liturgy and a final Eucharistic celebration. Pope Francis has assured he will be present for the entire meeting.
A statement issued by the Vatican Press Office said the goal of the meeting was that all of the bishops clearly understand what they need to do to prevent and combat the worldwide problem of the sexual abuse of minors.
“Pope Francis knows that a global problem can only be resolved with a global response. The Pope wants it to be an assembly of pastors, not an academic conference – a meeting characterised by prayer and discernment, a catechetical and working gathering…it is important to emphasise that the Church is not at the beginning of the fight against abuse. The meeting is a stage along the painful journey that the Church has unceasingly and decisively undertaken for over 15 years,” the statement said.
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