Support Group for Priests and Religious out of ministry is thriving
A member of the organising team of the ‘Support Group for Priests and Religious Out of Ministry’ sent this update (as of April 2013):
“We would like to assure you that the Support Group is alive, well and thriving.
We have met six times so far. The average attendance has been nine per meeting and altogether 13 people have attended since the first meeting. The format is relaxed and unstructured. Each participant in the meetings takes responsiblity for shaping a helpful process.
The final format of the meetings will emerge as we live the process. We find the meetings very helpful and supportive. Some, who have felt quite isolated, find an anchor and life in the meetings.
The Support Group itself is supervised and supported by an Advisory Board made up of high-profile and professional people involved in child protection and counselling. The Advisory Board has provided a facilitator for the first three meetings of the Support Group. A member of the Support Group attends the Advisory Board meetings to report back to the Board and get advice and support on any issues around the well-being of the Support Group. The Advisory Board has written to each Bishop, to CORI, the ACP and the IMU outlining the existence and purpose of the Support Group. They maintain a dialogue with the Church leadership on any issue or concern around the Support Group.
We meet every Saturday morning at 11 am. Enquiries about the venue of the meetings or any other issue about the Support Group may be had at this mobile number: 085 8607144”
It is good to hear that these meetings are continuing. The venture sounds very supportive–a hopeful development.
Are you aware of any similar organization is the UK? I know of a priest who is out of ministry for what have now become almost ‘the usual’ offences, who is very penitent and horrified at himself for the damage he’s caused his victims and also the Church – but the way that his diocese have dealt with him post release from prison beggars belief. Where is Christ in all of this, I have to ask myself.