Toward Healing and Renewal: A symposium on the sexual abuse of minors

Hans Zollner SJ

 Hans Zollner SJ / Church Thought / Published Date:21 January 2019/Last Updated Date:11 March 2020

The symposium Toward Healing and Renewal, held at the Pontifical Gregorian University (PUG), February 6-9, 2012, is an important milestone in the process undertaken by the Church to confront the “open wound” of abuse, as Pope Benedict XVI defined it. He himself chose to deliver a message to the symposium through his Secretary of State.

With that message addressed to the rector of the Gregorian, January 30, 2012, Benedict XVI demonstrated his support and encouraged every effort to respond with evangelical charity to the challenge of offering children and defenseless adults an environment that supports their human and spiritual growth.

He also urged the symposium participants to continue to draw on their wide range of skills in order to promote a strong culture of effective protection and support for victims throughout the Church. Specifically, he insisted “the healing of the victims must be an important concern in the Christian community and must go hand in hand with a profound renewal of the Church at every level. Our Lord reminds us that ‘every act of charity toward one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me’ (Matt 25:40).”

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