We, as the Diocese of Cleveland, wish to offer a number of opportunities to foster healing and reconciliation for those whose lives have been affected by the sexual abuse by a priest or deacon. Here you will find information on the various forms that this assistance will be provided for victim/survivors of abuse, their family members, and members of our parish communities.
The Lord heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. – Psalm 147:3
Support Groups for those who have suffered abuse at the hands of a member of the clergy will be offered in the late summer and early fall at Cornerstone of Hope. This will be an 8-session program which will meet every other week and be guided by an experienced therapist.
We encourage parishes, clusters, or regional groups to gather for prayer, reflection, and dialogue as we seek to deal with the many emotions and concerns arising from the abuse of children by clerics. At the present time, we are considering resource materials which have been prepared by RENEW International’s Healing Our Church, and Bishop Robert Barron’s Letter to a Suffering Church. More information will be available in late August.
Retreat experiences will be provided during the fall for anyone who has suffered sexual abuse and/or their family members. We hope that all who participate will experience prayer and the sacraments as an instrument of grace, peace and healing in their lives. These one-day retreats will be scheduled in four areas of the Diocese: Summit County, Lake-Geauga Counties, Cuyahoga County, and Lorain County. More information coming soon.
The following resources are available to assist ministers with the pastoral care of those who have experienced abuse.
For sexual abuse suffered at any age, no matter how long ago it happened, the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center provides wonderfully skilled counseling. They can be reached at (216) 619-6194 ext. 141.
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