A new initiative to reach out to survivors of clerical sexual abuse has been set up by the Irish Church, reports The Tablet.
The Irish initiative aims to provide a 'spiritual companion' to accompany victims in a journey towards healing their faith. It has been set up after requests from survivors to the Irish bishops for a pastoral response, according to Una Allen, who chairs Towards Peace.
Speaking after last Sunday’s launch in Cork, Marie Collins, who serves on the Vatican’s recently established Pontifical Council for the Protection of Minors, said if the service helped survivors then she wished it well. However, she warned it 'should not be used to pull people back into the Catholic Church'.
Mrs Collins also said the spiritual companions offered must include lay people, as many of those who were abused at the hands of Church personnel would not feel comfortable with a priest or religious.