Washington D.C., May 15, 2010 / 05:55 am
The National Review Board, an advisory group established to oversee child and youth protection in the Catholic Church in the U.S., has issued a list of lessons that abuse victims and survivors have taught them. Noting abuse victims’ courage, the board chairwoman explained to CNA that there is a need to learn more and to communicate effectively the Church’s steps to combating abuse.
The list, authored by review board chairwoman Diane Knight, said the board has learned that it takes “great courage” for a victim to come forward with his or her story after years or decades of “silence and feelings and shame.”
“We have learned that the abuse has robbed some victim/survivors of their faith,” Knight continued. “For some this means loss of their Catholic faith, but for others it means loss of any faith in a God at all.”
Hearing an individual abuse survivor’s story is “a sacred trust to be received with great care and pastoral concern,” Knight’s list continued.