By Nirmala Carvalho
Mumbai, April 19, 2019: Catholics in Mumbai reflected on the abuse scandal facing the Church during a Via Crucis in the western Indian city’s historically-Christian Bandra neighborhood.
More than a thousand people attended the event at St. Andrew’s College, which focused on the “Scandals of the Cross.”
Bishop John Rodrigues, auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Bombay, led the stations, and said that scandal in the Church is a stumbling block and the opposite of holiness.
“For all abuse victims falling under the heavy burden of anguish too heavy to carry, we pray with them in their pain, fear and confusion, that they may have the endurance and receive the love that enables them to rise again,” read one prayer.
“For our children who have been hurt by their ministers, we pray. For mothers and fathers who have borne the pain of their children’s suffering, we pray. For all our sisters and brothers who are angry, ashamed, saddened and disillusioned by the crimes that have been committed within the Body of Christ, we pray,” it continued.
“Faithful God, you promised to remain with Your people until the end of the age. Do not abandon our brothers and sisters who suffer the trauma of sexual abuse, especially those abused by ordained, religious, and lay ministers in the Church. Help Your people and your ministers to accompany them so that they may be supported and encouraged in their struggles and find your healing and consolation.”
The young people attending the college acted out the stations, and various groups carried the cross during the Via Crucis.
“Our youth have many challenges and questions, with the abuse scandals within the Church and this has made them question their faith, even to the extent of whether we should leave or stay in the Church,” said Father Magi Murzello, the rector of St. Andrew’s College.
“This Via Crucis is in solidarity with the victims of sexual abuse within the Church, and with the victims of human trafficking,” he told Crux.
“The youth of today is the hope of our future and hence it is the need of the hour to have them involved and be the change we wish to make in this world that has been torn apart due to various reasons. There are thousands of victims around the world that have been abused. These have inflicted deep wounds of pain and powerlessness not only to the victims but also to their families,” the priest said.