The ARCH (newsletter of the Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan)
By Pamela Walsh
In September 2010, Archbishop Bohan gave his support for an Archdiocesan initiative reaching out to victims of Clergy SexualAbuse This includes their families and supports clergy and laity interested in forming a community to assist the Church to become more open and able to accompany victims on their healing journey. Not equipped to provide counselling or therapy, the community has established as it’s goals, education, support and the development of resources for victims who wish to find a less formal way to heal within the context of the Catholic Church than the formal complaint process. It was agreed that the initiative would best begin with a liturgy. In October Rev. Gary Kuntz, Del Wagner and Pamela Walsh met to begin forming the Healing Community. The community slowly continues to grow, with Rev. Stephen Bill and Rev. Rick Krofchek now attending.
The Community’s immediate goal was planning an inaugural liturgy with a committee from the Archdiocesan Liturgy Commission. After some discussion it was decided a prayer service would better serve the needs of victims. St-Jean-Baptiste parish in Regina hosted the first prayer service on the first Tuesday of Advent, November 30, 2010. “SEEKING LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS: Addressing the Issue of Sexual Abuse in the Church,” was advertised in Church bulletins throughout the city and area. Contributors included Rev. Rick Krofchek, Jenny Banga, Del Wagner, Sr. ReAnne Letourneau Rev. Gary Kuntz, Marian Grady, Rev. Tonny Dizy and Pamela Walsh. Archbishop Bohan, seven priests from the Archdiocese and about 15 others, including victims, supporters and other lay people, attended this very moving service.
As it continues to grow in membership and support, the Healing Community hopes to assist victims to navigate the various Church protocols and policies should they choose to follow the formal complaint process. It will also endeavour to educate Archdiocesan priests and lay people about the devastation that Clergy Sexual Abuse causes, the life-long scars victims carry, and how nonvictims can support, help, and include victims. The education will focus on other initiatives being undertaken in the broader Church that are helping victims to heal. This focus will enable the local Church to find more ways to open their doors and hearts to allow victims to find a safe, non-threatening way to be a part of the Church that has so deeply hurt them, alienated them and, in some cases, pushed them to the fringes or out of the Church altogether.
Contact any one of the Healing Community members. Our email address is: email@example.com