Rome, Italy, Oct 23, 2010 / 16:02 pm America/Denver (CNA).
The Irish bishops have announced plans for a year of prayer for renewal in the light of clergy sexual abuse scandals that have roiled the Church.
Using Pope Benedict XVI's guidance as the core of the initiative, the bishops hope to promote healing within the Church through reconciliation, adoration and Scripture reading.
At the conclusion of their annual meeting Oct. 19, the bishops indicated that their program would be based on suggestions made by Pope Benedict XVI in the pastoral letter he sent to Ireland’s Catholics in March.
Beginning with the first Sunday of Advent, Nov. 28, the Irish Church will begin a year of prayer, penance, and spiritual renewal.
In his March 19 letter, the Pope had invited Irish Catholics to devote their ordinary Friday penances to the intention of healing and “the long-term process of restoration.” He also encouraged them to fast, pray, read the Scriptures, and works of mercy "to obtain the grace of healing and renewal for the Church in Ireland."
He also encouraged them to go to confession more often and to spend more time in prayer before the Eucharist.