Bishop Gabriel Malzaire of Roseau, Dominica, and President of the Antilles Episcopal Conference attended the February 21–24 meeting in Rome on protecting minor. Here is his full report.
The assembly of the 190 Presidents of Episcopal Conferences, Superiors General and the Holy Father on the issue of The Protection of Minors in The Church was held in the Synod Hall of Aula Paolo VI in Rome from February 21–24. The format of the four-day encounter was a combination of testimonies given by victims of abuse, presentations on the theme, group work and reports on the latter, culminating in the closing Mass held on Sunday, February 24.
The testimonies of the victims of abuse were moving and painful. They were rightfully moments of shame demanding the strongest dose of humility from the assembled prelates even just to listen. One survivor, in her testimony said to the bishops: “Victims need to be believed, respected, cared for and healed. You need to repair what has been done to the victims, be close to them, believe them and accompany them. You are the physicians of the soul and yet, with rare exceptions, you have been transformed—in some cases—into murderers of the soul, into murderers of the faith. What a terrible contradiction.”