Masses offered to make amends to victims of sexual abuse

Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford will offer three Masses of Reparation to make spiritual amends to those who have been sexually abused by Roman Catholic priests.

“What greater ‘outrage, sacrilege and indifference’ can be hurled at Christ, what greater betrayal, than that one of his priests should sexually violate a child or vulnerable adult?” Blair wrote to clergy and staff of the archdiocese. “So it is on my knees as a bishop, and on their knees as priests, that we the clergy of this Archdiocese offer Masses of reparation for the crime and sin of sexual abuse.”

Blair also wrote that “It is certainly true that offering a Mass is not of itself sufficient to address the grievous suffering and betrayal expressed by victims. Our Archdiocese of committed to doing everything humanly possible to heal their wounds,” including public apology, counseling and support groups. Blair also has offered to meet personally with victims.

“For a person of faith, however, there can be no doubt that evil and sin also call for remedies that are profoundly spiritual. In ordinary speech, ‘reparation’ simply means making amends to another person or persons for an offense of injustice committed against them,” Blair wrote. “Inasmuch as an offense or injustice is sinful, it also demands that reparation be made to God.”

The Masses will be said at 2 p.m. Sunday at St. Bartholomew Church (St. Teresa of Calcutta Parish), 736 Middle Turnpike East, Manchester; at 11 a.m. Feb. 16 at St. George Church, 33 Whitfield St., Guilford; and at 7 p.m. March 26 at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church (Our Lady of Hope Parish), 78 Litchfield Road, Harwinton.