Help Victims Carry Their Cross and Pray for Church: Join Us Good Friday At Steps of Cathedral

During last Sunday’s homily, a priest at St. David in Willow Grove, asked congregants to pray for the victims of clergy sex abuse this Easter season as we enter the clergy sex abuse trial and what could be called the “passion of the Philadelphia Church.” It’s not enough to pray alone at home. More than one victim has explained that they survived the abuse but are still victimized by the turned backs of fellow Catholics. They lost their community when they weren’t believed or were blamed. It’s time to let them know we stand with them against child sex abuse.

This isn’t a protest against the Church, this is a prayer service for the Church. And by Church, I mean us – all of us. What would Jesus do for the victims and to protect children? We are called to be Christ-like. On Good Friday we carry the cross with Jesus. What will you do? Please join us.

Who: Moms, Dads, Survivors, Students, Priests, Nuns, Christian Brothers, Deacons, Teachers… all Catholics

What: Prayer service for the victims of clergy sex abuse and the faithful of the Catholic Church of Philadelphia who have been betrayed by the hierarchy. There will be speakers. April is child abuse awareness month, so we ask attendees to wear the official awareness color – blue. Signs are welcome.

Where: At the steps of the Cathedral Basilica of SS Peter and Paul, 1723 Race Street (on the Benjamin Franklin Pkwy)

When: 11 a.m. to noon this Friday, April 6 – Good Friday. (Prayer Service held inside the Cathedral from noon until 3 p.m.)

How: This will be a respectful, peaceful and prayerful gathering. There is a public parking lot at 17th and Arch Street. Suburban Station is the closest train station at 17th and Market.

Why: To spiritually prepare for Easter. To pray for new beginnings in how Church leadership deals with child sex abuse – here in Philadelphia and globally – regardless of the trial outcome.

For more information, contact Susan through the Contact Page.

19 thoughts on “Help Victims Carry Their Cross and Pray for Church: Join Us Good Friday At Steps of Cathedral

  1. I am so glad to hear that some local priest had the courage to ask for prayers for the victims. Unfortunately I will be out of town Good Friday, but I will be with you in spirit.

  2. I, too, will be with you in spirit! I also believe that the Holy Spirit will be there, as well. Jesus taught, “Wherever two or more are gathered together in my Name, I will be in their midst!” He, alone, can bring peace and healing; not the bishops, archbishops or even Cardinal Chaput. It would be a news-worthy event if Cardinal Chaput actually were to show up, but he’s probably going to be “too busy,” going about “his work,” and I won’t even begin to reflect on what that is and what he’s being over-paid to do!

  3. It is about time we the mystical body stood with those of us who are wounded by our negligence, for they are us. These were practicing Catholics when wounded for the most part. The victims were thrice wounded by our will not to know.

    The part I would take umbrage with is ,”the passion of the Philadelphia Church”. Only the true head of the mystical body, “Christ”, did nothing wrong as a man. To the church could be said as one thief said to another, “Have you no fear of God even now? You and I are guilty and our punishment is just. But this man did nothing wrong.” Even when we pray for those whom we have trespassed against, our triumphalism astounds.

    1. MLLamb: By your comment, “Only the true head of the mystical body, “Christ”, did nothing wrong as a man,” I wonder if you are defending members of the Hierarchy. Yes, we have all sinned and fallen short of the holiness and the glory of God, but there is a difference between sins of omission and “Practicing Sin!” The Hierarchy in Philly, “Practiced Sin,” and they refined it down to the shredding of documents of their precious Pedophile Brothers. The sin that they “Practiced” affected the lives of hundreds of children, who were put in the path of Pedophiles, who repeated their crimes over and over, again. I think that your post needs some clarity. If I misread your intent, I apologize, but I refuse to share the blame for what happened!

      1. You did misinterpret. And if you are one who did not turn your back on survivors when they tried to tell their stories and the priest in the parish tried to shame and disenfranchise the family, then I am sure all still inside (those still attempting to practice their faith)who care and those whose families were devastated and disenfranchised thank you. But I know without doubt that many in the church simply nod their heads and go along with the priest when he implies in dozens of different ways that it is mostly if not all an anti-catholic plot or the survivors just want money.

        When we do that we are negligent, we are part of the cover-up. And I do know, many of us do this. We are afraid of the Truth. This is odd, since the one whom we portend to represent is, The Way, The Truth and The Life.

        It is not the church of Philadelphia nor The Church whose passion this is. It is God’s Justice who has been sold out, scorned, scourged,mocked and hung out to dry. That justice which is merciful and brings peace.

        It is God’s chosen Apostles who have repeatedly crucified justice. And we who immediately say,” Calumny, scurrilous, anti-catholic, petty gossip, how dare you speak ill of a ‘holy man’ of God.” who are now willfully negligent participants in the cover-up. These things have happened. And are still happening.

      2. MLLamb,
        You are singing my song!!!! 🙂 Until WE can own what we’ve done and how we’ve participated, we won’t change OUR ways.

        Every word you wrote…

        I think this is the sermon that needs to be read at all Masses!

  4. I live outside of Washington DC, but I will try to be at the prayer meeting on Good Friday. I am praying that the priest on trial will be found guilty, if the evidence is strong enough. I am following this site for daily information on the trial. God Bless all the victims of this sexual abuse.

  5. All these new people, along with those who have been around here for awhile…

    …like salve on a wound.

  6. M.L. Lamb wrote:
    “The part I would take umbrage with is ,”the passion of the Philadelphia Church”. Only the true head of the mystical body, “Christ”, did nothing wrong as a man. To the church could be said as one thief said to another, “Have you no fear of God even now? You and I are guilty and our punishment is just. But this man did nothing wrong.” Even when we pray for those whom we have trespassed against, our triumphalism astounds.”

    Dear M.L.Lamb, thanks for the insightful words………….well said………..Triumphalism indeed! Even know, they play the victim………….Such contemptuous arrogance!!!!
    More appropriate is a recognition of the fact that, for the “church”, now is a wonderful opportunity for CONVERSION!! It is a painful, but wonderful opportunity to admit and REPENT of the fact that they place power, prestige and treasure over the lives of innocent children…… is a wonderful opportunity to begin to exercise power with and not “power over” rank and file catholics……….many who have experienced clergy rape.

    Until they do, they will simply continue to bring dishonor to the very Lord they claim to follow; they will continue to show to the world, a horrible and false “FACE of God”… that cares little for people and values “reputation” and church treasure over God’s little ones……

    I would also say that it is PAST TIME for rank and file catholics to stop feeding this monster financially until the monster (church hierarchy) prove by their behavior that our kids count more than money and power and reputation……….as long as the rank and file catholics remain silent, they are complicit in this horrible and heinous evil.

    They should know better………………….THEIR kids could be next……and who will be there for them……………………

  7. Susan, you are a remarkable woman.
    No such action in Australia, and maybe too late to organise. I will pass this on to Judy Courtin Melbourne lawyer and PhD Candidate, Monash University, very active in her support for victims and survivors of clerical abuse.
    Meanwhile, include them through the power of intercessory prayer on the day.

  8. It’s probably no coincidence, but today on a Dutch website, there was a photo of a statue of a young boy, caring his cross. It was a very touching photo. The story was about castrated young boys and teens, who were castrated to “cure” their “sin of homosexuality” by the Church! One was castrated because he reported that he was raped by a priest! Here is the weblink: I encourage all to see the picture as it helps to put things in the perspective of those abused, carrying crosses! The sadness seems overwhelming. Then I encourage all to copy this story and go to “Google Translate” to translate it from Dutch to English. God Bless! Jeannie

  9. MLLamb, I’m sure there are many whom have been struck dumb on this subject reared in the views of speaking against a holy man of God is a sin.
    Imagine if you struck one!
    I also believe thats why members of other denominations don’t step up and be counted.

  10. Please read this very important article about Bishop Geoffrey Robinson of Australia and his thoughts on the necessity of re-examining catholic faith and culture regarding the clergy sexual abuse crisis. It should be required reading. This bishop is one of the few who really gets what has been happening for so long. Needless to say, he is not very popular with the hierarchy. Speaking truth to power is risky, and he has the courage to say it.

  11. THANK YOU to Voice of the Faithful and all those who have been in the prayer walk every First Friday at the 222 building. Thank you, Susan, for the invitation to pray on the steps of the Cathedral this Good Friday at 11 AM. Know that my friends and I will be there with you, and also for those unable to join the prayer vigil from 11 to noon.

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