Commission finds cases of abuse in Church Home - Bishop asks for forgiveness

Gozo, Malta - The Bishop of Gozo, Mgr Mario Grech, has issued a statement in English and Maltese asking for forgiveness after a commission he had appointed found cases of physical and psychological abuse of children at Lourdes Home in Ghajnsielem.

"The Commission arrived at the conclusion that in some particular cases there had been inadmissible behaviour involving minors that should never have taken place. The Commission also presented some recommendations that will ensure that such abuses will never happen again," the bishop said.

He said that upon receiving the report, he had immediately contacted the Superior General of the Dominican Sisters, who run the home, and instructed her to carry out the Commission's recommendations.

"I appreciate greatly the sterling work done with great love and dedication by a great number of Dominican Sisters in this Home, during its long history in favour of hundreds of children and their families. The Sisters continued to do this work even in times when assistance from social institutions was lacking. Many other children, now adults, attest to the fact that they experienced love and tender care in this Home. I sincerely hope and recommend that this Home will continue to give this service to the Church and to society," Mgr Grech said.

"At the same time, I have to express my sorrow for all that was of detriment to these children. I ask forgiveness from those who have suffered because of this behaviour. The Church wants to accompany these persons who were hurt by this behaviour. I have already appointed a team of experts who will accompany these persons in this healing process. I have already made contacts with the persons involved and will be closely following this process."