The diocese of Lausanne-Geneva-Fribourg is to unveil a monument in its cathedral to the victims of clerical sexual abuse.
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The Swiss diocese announced last week that the monument to abuse survivors would be unveiled in Fribourg’s St. Nicholas Cathedral on a special “Day of Memory” next November 23.
The date was chosen to coincide with International Children Rights Day on November 20.
The local Church added that the glass memorial plaque had been designed “in collaboration with abuse victims”.
The diocese is preferring to keep the text of the inscription on the plaque confidential for the time being, but it is thought that it will include a petition of forgiveness and a warning to the Church to remain vigilant.
“Our bishop has long considered the necessity that the Church deals with this aspect of its past”, said Laure-Christine Grandjean, communications director for the Lausanne-Geneva-Fribourg diocese, in comments reported by the Tablet.
“Far from remaining a unique event, we think other memory days should be organised in future in this form or another.
“It’s a question of ensuring similar errors are never reproduced”.
The Lausanne-Geneva-Fribourg diocese also said that on the Day of Memory November 23, Bishop Charles Morerod would also meet survivors and attend a screening of By the Grace of God, a film on abuse in the French Church by director Francois Ozon.
Swiss Bishops Conference spokeswoman Encarnacion Berger-Lobato said there are currently no plans for a nationwide commemoration of abuse victims, but said other plaques and memorials are under discussion in Switzerland’s five other dioceses.
After a fall in reported cases of abuse in the Swiss Church – from 115 in 2010 to 9 in 2012 – the number rose again to 65 in 2017, suggesting the bishops still have work to do in terms of child protection.
11% of cases reported since 2010 are alleged to have involved abuse committed after that date.
63% of victims were 16 or younger and 27% were 12 or younger.
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