By Paweł Rytel-Andrianik

The first Friday of Lent marks in the Church in Poland a Day of Prayer and Penance for the sins of sexual abuse of minors. This initiative of the Polish Bishops’ Conference is a response to the Holy Father’s appeal encouraging the whole community of the People of God to pray and to fast in order to awaken our consciences.

“Standing together for the prayer of reparation, we learn the truth about the community of the Church in which no suffering or sin is a private matter. We are one organism for better or worse. When one person suffers, others suffer together, and the sin of each of us weakens the whole organism. On the other hand, conversion, penance, and prayer of the one, strengthens and raises the whole community – points out the delegate of the Polish Episcopate for the protection of children and youth, Archbishop Wojciech Polak.

On the first Friday of Lent, penitential liturgies for the sin of sexual abuse of minors will be held in all parish communities in Poland. Bishops will personally conduct such liturgies in cathedral churches. The first such liturgy took place on June 20, 2014, in the Jesuit Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Cracow.

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