US bishops celebrate Mass for healing of survivors of clergy sex abuse

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Mass will mark opening of June Plenary Assembly

As they begin the Spring General Assembly June 14-15, Bishops from across the US will gather at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis for a Mass of Prayer and Penance for survivors of sexual abuse within the Church. The Mass is being held in response to a call from Pope Francis for all episcopal conferences across the world to have a Day of Prayer and Penance for victims of sexual abuse within the Church: The liturgy will be held June 14, 2017 at 5 p.m. at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis.

The bishops will gather together in solidarity to pray for victims and to acknowledge the pain caused by the failures of the Church in the past.  The Mass will mark the opening for the June Plenary Assembly of bishops taking place in Indianapolis. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) will be the principal celebrant. The homilist will be Archbishop Wilton D.  Gregory, of Atlanta, and former President of the USCCB.

In an act of penance and humility, the bishops will also kneel and recite a commemorative prayer that has been written for survivors of abuse in their healing. Intercessory Prayers of the Faithful will also be offered for those who have suffered due to clergy sex abuse. All dioceses and eparchies have been provided the suggested intercessory Prayers of the Faithful for use at any time of their choosing after June 14.

In addition to this specific Day of Prayer and Penance, many dioceses and eparchies will also schedule their own Masses or other events to promote healing within their diocese/eparchy throughout the year.

The Mass is scheduled to be livestreamed.  The livestream link will be available on the USCCB Website.

Discussions include Religious Liberty, Immigration, upcoming Synod

As the US Bishops gather for their annual Spring General Assembly, June 14-15, the full body of bishops will address issues of immigration and refugees, religious freedom at home and abroad, as well as health-care policy developments. The bishops will also begin consultation on the upcoming Ordinary Synod of Bishops being convened by the Holy Father in 2018.

Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, New Mexico, chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, will lead a presentation on religious persecution, genocide and human rights violations in the Middle East. The bishops will receive a briefing from their working group on immigration and hear from outside experts.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, OFM Cap., of Philadelphia, chairman of the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life, and Youth, and Cardinal Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR of Newark, chairman of the Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations, will lead the discussion on the 2018 Ordinary Synod of Bishops, which will focus on young people, faith, and vocational discernment.

The bishops will also discuss and vote on whether to establish the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty as a permanent USCCB committee. Other items considered for discussion and votes are: the revised Guidelines for the Celebration of the Sacraments with Persons with Disabilities, a collection of blessings in Spanish (the Bendicional: Sexta Parte), and a new translation of the Order of Blessing the Oil of Catechumens and of the Sick and of Consecrating the Chrism.

The Wednesday evening Mass will be moment of prayer and penance for the bishops as they respond to the call from Pope Francis for an international Day of Prayer to pray for the survivors of clerical sex abuse.

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