A message to the Catholic community at the beginning of Lent from Archbishop Julian

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Days of fasting in sorrow for child sexual abuse and for the healing of victims
14 – 16 February 2018

Dear brothers and sisters,

With the Royal Commission concluded, our country and our Church enter into a new moment. The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference is calling upon the Catholic community in Australia to embrace this new moment by beginning the penitential season of Lent with three days of fasting from Ash Wednesday, February 14 till the following Friday, February 16. This traditional spiritual practice expresses our desire for God’s reconciling and healing grace. Through fasting, we stand in solidarity with the victims of abuse whose much deeper hunger is for healing, peace and justice in their lives.

These days of fasting in sorrow for child sexual abuse and for the healing of victims can be marked by prayer in our homes and in our Catholic communities. Please take to heart the importance of these days in preparing the Church to respond to the recommendations of the Royal Commission and to make the journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter. We cannot undo the past. With God’s help, we can make the future better.

Julian Porteous DD
Archbishop of Hobart