Redemptorists of Australia and New Zealand

Australia, New Zealand and Samoa

Province of Oceania

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Fr. Michael Brehl writes about the letter of Pope Francis to the People of God

Dear Confreres, Sisters, and Redemptorist Associates,

In the name of Jesus Christ, our Redeemer and our Brother, I greet you with hope and gratitude for your witness to the Redeemer in our wounded world.

Today, Pope Francis has written a Letter to the People of God about the great wound of the sexual abuse and exploitation of minors and vulnerable people in our Church. Inviting us to greater solidarity especially with the vulnerable and the wounded, the Holy Father calls us to prayer and fasting, as well as to the challenge of protecting children and the vulnerable, responding with justice to those who have been abused.

In this Letter, Pope Francis insists that the crimes and grave sins of abuse, sexual exploitation, and clericalism must be eliminated from the Church. This requires the full participation and collaboration of every one of us.

I am sending you the Letter of Pope Francis in various languages. Please read it carefully, reflectively and prayerfully, and ensure that it is circulated as widely as possible. May the exhortation of the Holy Father assist us to implement as fully as possible the Policies for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults, as well as the Protocols for responding to any allegations – in every (V) Province, Region and Mission.

May God grant us the grace of conversion so that not only do we feel compassion for those who have been wounded by these crimes and grave sins, but especially, so that we actively work for the restoration of justice and the prevention of any further abuse.

In Christ our Redeemer,

Michael Brehl, C.Ss.R.

Superior General