I ask forgiveness – Bishop of Gozo on abuse at Lourdes Home
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The Bishop of Gozo, Mgr Mario Grech, has issued a statement asking for forgiveness after the commission he appointed found cases of physical and psychological abuse of children at the Lourdes Home in Ghajnsielem. The full text of his statement follows:
“I ask forgiveness,
I set up a Commission on the 24th April, 2006 to investigate allegations of physical and psychological abuse perpetrated on minors during their stay at Lourdes Home, run by the Dominican Sisters. The Commission’s findings had to help me in my Pastoral Ministry.
A few weeks ago, this Commission presented its Report. The Commission arrived at the conclusion that in some particular cases there had been inadmissible behaviour involving minors that should never have taken place. The Commission also presented some recommendations that will ensure that such abuses would never happen again.
I contacted immediately the Superior General of the Dominican Sisters, and instructed her to carry out the Commission’s recommendations, thus excluding the recurrence of such abuses.
I appreciate greatly the sterling work done with great love and dedication by a great number of Dominican Sisters in this Home, during its long history in favour of hundreds of children and their families. The Sisters continued to do this even in times when assistance from social institutions was lacking. Many other children, now adults, attest to the fact that they had experienced love and tender care in this Home. I sincerely hope and recommend that this Home will continue to give this service to the Church and to society.
But, at the same time, I have to show my sorrow for all that was of detriment to these children. I ask forgiveness from those who have suffered because of this behaviour. The Church wants to accompany these persons who were hurt by this behaviour. I have already appointed a team of experts who will accompany these persons in this healing process. I have already made contacts with the persons involved and will be closely following this process.”
Bishop of Gozo