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Victim Assistance


Victim Assistance Coordinators | Resources | Frequently Asked Questions

The first obligation of the Church with regard to victims is for healing and reconciliation. Dioceses and eparchies continue to reach out to every person who has been a victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone in church service, whether that abuse is recent or occurred in the past.

If you suffered abuse, it was not your fault. If you are a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, deacon, or individual representing the Catholic Church, there are several things you can do:

  • Contact the appropriate law enforcement agency, which can help determine options for making a criminal complaint.
  • Contact a local child protection agency, a private attorney, a support group, an abuse hotline, or a mental health professional.
  • Contact a diocesan or eparchial victim assistance coordinator who is available to help victims/survivors make a formal complaint of abuse to the diocese or eparchy. The Victim Assistance Coordinator is also available to arrange a personal meeting with the bishop or his representative and to obtain support for the needs of the individual and families.
  • For resources for Diocesan Clergy, Staff, or Victim Assistance Coordinators, please visit the "Resource Toolbox."
Mass of Prayer and Penance for Healing of Survivors of Clergy Sex Abuse
On June 14th, 2017, bishops from across the U.S. gathered at Ss. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis for a Mass of Prayer and Penance for survivors of sexual abuse within the Church. The Mass was held in response to a call from Pope Francis for all episcopal conferences across the world to have a Day of Prayer and Penance for victims of sexual abuse within the Church. The bishops gathered together in solidarity to pray for victims and to acknowledge the pain caused by the failures of the Church in the past. Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was the principal celebrant. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory, of Atlanta, and former President of the USCCB, was the homilist. In addition to this specific Day of Prayer and Penance, many dioceses and eparchies also celebrated their own Masses within their own diocese/eparchy.


Clips from the Mass for Healing and Reconciliation


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