Priests in Wellington archdiocese committed to prayer and fasting on October 5 following on from Pope Francis’ August request that the People of God pray and fast in order to hear the “hushed pain” of abuse survivors.
Wellington vicar general Msgr Gerard Burns told Radio New Zealand that the priests decided to take this action as a way of committing to a change of heart and a change in the Church structures which had allowed the abuse to take place.

Priests could give up things other than food, he added.

“Maybe some of the more challenging ways are to go without your iPhone for a
day, that might be even more taxing, but I think a simple way is to go without food.

“In this case the Pope asked us to particularly focus on the sufferings of those who’ve been abused — so it’s to try and put ourselves in some small way in solidarity with them.”

Abuse survivors reportedly called for victim-centred responses, practical help and accountability from the Church, rather than fasting.

Msgr Burns reportedly said he realised that, for abuse victims, a fast might not mean a lot.

“There needs to be more than just a fast. This is only a small step along the way, but the object is to try and focus our attention as priests on the importance of this question, the damage that’s been done, the significance of what’s happened.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Example.
    Lead by example.
    One Christian brother woke early around 3 a.m. and went to the chapel for private adoration, until breakfast.
    Of course, he had no time to watch TV, but that didn’t bother him at all.
    In fact, at one stage he took up from his class some stats on TV, and one lad admitted he watched 45 hours per week.
    He was years before his time and the trend toward pornography.
    By focussing on the Christocentric, Eucharist takes first place.
    This happens with private adoration.
    Fasting stops wars; it can even suspend the natural law.
    “This kind can only be removed by prayer and fasting”, words of Jesus to his apostles who had trouble casting out a particular demon.
    Priesthood does the flock a great service by re-introducing the Christocentric and asserting this aspect of spiritual life.
    Bishop Fulton Sheehan always did one hour of private adoration before addressing the public nationwide on TV. He knew the dangers of TV, and what to do to offset these.
    Sr Briege McKenna OSC also spends two hours private adoration each day.
    Many saints fasted.
    St Benedict fasted for three years, eating only bread and water.
    St Joseph of Cupertino ate only on Thursdays and Sundays. He levitated over seventy times.
    Priesthood needs our support and our prayers.
    We need to approach priesthood by first saying our prayers, fasting, and reading our bibles, and saying our rosaries.
    That’s much better than dumping emotional problems on them, not to mention our sinfulness.

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