A survivor of clergy abuse reflects on the far-reaching impact of each Healing Mass which celebrants and concelebrants will never know.

When Church leaders express remorse for failure to protect victims, it can inspire healing in hearts of people whom the cardinals, archbishops, eparchs, and bishops will never meet. One such attendee shared his thoughts, sitting beside his wife, during at the 2017 Mass at the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul for the Conference of U.S. Catholic Bishops.

“The idea that I might represent other survivors in any way was very moving, a big weight, because this Mass, its prayers, the homily, its many gestures, including bishops kneeling in penance, was such a large moment. To be so close to the full weight of the United States Catholic hierarchy, while almost none of them knew who I am, or what I am, was both isolating and even more defining. I knew my story, told in two books, and brought it to the altar, too…. With the help and care that nurture healing, we can bring our wounds back to the Church and recover our place and faith in it, though we remain survivors all our mortal lives.”

To learn more about the author, Norbert Krapf, former Indiana Poet Laureate and author of twenty-six books (including Catholic Boy Blues: A Poet’s Journal of Healing, his eleventh full-length poetry collection), see his full account of this Mass and other articles for The Healing Voices.

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