SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) More than a year ago a Pennsylvania Grand Jury detailed the sexual abuse of more than 100 children by one-hundreds of priests in the Commonwealth.
A month after that grand jury report the Diocese of Scranton held a mass for Atonement and Healing and it was held again this year.
The special service is held to acknowledge sins and mistakes. Through prayer and transparency, the diocese continues to move forward.
Through the special mass Bishop Joseph Bambera asks for forgiveness. “To hold in our hearts, this moment in our history and to resolve and work to the best of that we humanly can to ensure that our church is safe especially for those who are most vulnerable,” said Bambera.
Since the report, Bambera says dioceses and others have worked to re-write what has been wrong. He says more than 30-thousand staff volunteers have been trained to keep people safe from any abuse. He adds they have worked with investigators and established a compensation fund for those who have been abused.
Those who have reported the abuse in the past, have until September 30th to come forward for compensation.
Parishioners come to this mass to pray for those who have been sexually abused by clergy and outside the church. “We have to ask for God’s divine grace to heal. It just can’t be our forgiveness. It has to be God’s divine grace for forgiveness,” said Theresa Scaccia of Dunmore.
The mass will be held each year around the “Our Lady of Sorrow” which is on the catholic calendar as September 15th