“ (…) Members of the survivors group shared a different perspective on justice and healing than did the protesters stationed outside the cathedral. The survivors group said that both can happen concurrently.
Moreover, Bishop DiMarzio and members of the group told the Eagle on April 15 that they have been meeting for more than a year as a support group and to organize the healing mass and that they developed the idea together.
Philip and Tara Franco told the Eagle that they benefited greatly from the survivors group. They requested this mass and have worked with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn and Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio to organize it. “I think that the people protesting may be well-intentioned,” Philip Franco said. “I don’t think they know the whole picture, though. Because, first of all, coming from a Catholic perspective, there’s the incredible value of the mass and prayer. And, also, the church — at least in the Diocese of Brooklyn, as I can only really speak for Brooklyn — has done a lot for those who have been abused: financially, in terms of presence and support. And I’ve always — I hope — been able to separate the abuser from the rest of the community of the church.”
Bishop DiMarzio, speaking at a press conference before the mass, told reporters, “Certainly, as a representative of the church, I am sorry for what happened in the past, and we’re trying to make every effort to make sure nothing like this happens in the future. And we’re here to assist them with counseling, or, if they have questions, if they come forward, if they are victims of sexual abuse of someone employed by the church.”
He continued, “We came to a point where our survivors asked for this. They wanted this as a public statement that they’re on the road to healing, that they wanted to share their experience with others. But other people are not there yet. They feel bitter. They don’t understand how to live with this. They keep blaming the church. We have to acknowledge our faults, but we have to move on also and work with the healing process and turn victims into survivors. That’s the whole push we’re working on.”
Read the complete article here.