Calvary cross a symbol of lament

The Calvary cross (Catholic Voice)

A Liturgy of Lament and Hope in response to child sexual abuse within the Church was held at St Christopher's Cathedral in Canberra on Tuesday night, Catholic Voice reports.

"We have come here tonight from pain and disillusionment, from anger and confusion, from sadness, looking for hope. We come together for one thing only: to raise our hearts and voices and very bodies to God, in the hope that the very act of raising them in lament yet in faith, they may be touched in their brokenness, and know the transforming and surpassing power of God’s love."

With this invocation, the Archdiocese of Canberra and Goulburn conducted the liturgy, attended by approximately 200 people with a number of priests, deacons and religious present.

Archbishop Christopher Prowse led the liturgy which came about in response to the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, some of which happened at the hands of Catholic Clergy and lay people.

In a significant gesture of humility, the Archbishop (dressed in a black cassock) processed to the Sanctuary of the cathedral and for a few minutes lay prostrate right before a large prominent "Calvary" cross which was positioned before the altar.

He gave a reflection of his time spent at recent ‘Listening Sessions’, held throughout the archdiocese.

A family member of a survivor also gave a reflection of the impact that the sexual abuse has had on their family.

The Sign of Peace, Litany of Healing, periods of silence, the praying of the Our Father, the lighting of candles and a blessing from the Archbishop added to the evening's rich symbolism.

Archbishop Prowse singled out Cathedral Administrator Msgr John Woods and Jaki Kane for their efforts in organising the liturgy.

The cathedral choir, led by Ms Kane were thanked for making a dignified contribution to the gathering. Attende Domine, Be Still My Soul, Prayer of St Francis and Christ Be Our Light were the hymns sung throughout the evening.

The Liturgy of the Word contained the readings of Ezekiel 34:11-16, Psalm 51, Romans 5:5-11 and Luke 15:3-7.


Archdiocesan Liturgy of Lament and Hope (Catholic Voice)


Painful yet hopeful: Archbishop Prowse’s homily (Catholic Voice)

Pope names new official to oversee processing of abuse cases (Catholic Herald)

Esperance people bond to sue, claiming they were molested by priest (Esperance Express)

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