Symposium on Sexual Abuse of Minors in Rome

On Tuesday evening 7 February 2012 in Rome, Sulpician Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect for the Congregation for Bishops, was principal celebrant at a penitential rite for healing and forgiveness at the Church of Saint Ignatius in Rome. The service took place during a symposium conference organized by the Gregorian University, which took place 6-9 February for bishops and religious superiors to address the question of how to prevent sexual abuse of minors in the Church.


During his homily, Cardinal Ouellet was particularly strong in his call to ensure that sexual abuse of minors never again happens in the Church. He said,

“The tragedy of the sexual abuse of minors perpetrated by Christians, especially when done so by members of the clergy is a source of great shame and enormous scandal. It is a sin against which Jesus himself lashed out: ‘It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to stumble’ (Luke 17:2).’ Abuse is a crime, in fact, which causes an authentic experience of death for the innocent victims, whom God alone can truly raise to new life in the power of the Holy Spirit.”Photo at right: ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images

Cardinal Ouellet also passionately called for an end to all sex abuse within the Church. After quoting Blessed John Paul II’s sentiment that “there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young,” the Cardinal insisted: “It is intolerable that the abuse of children would take place with the Church. Never again!”