Towards Peace 01 505 3028 www.towardspeace.ie provides spiritual support for survivors of abuse by Church personnel in Ireland
Remarks by Ms Una Allen, Chairperson of Towards Peace, at the launch of Towards Peace in Wilton, Cork
Towards Peace is a service offering spiritual support to survivors and victims of abuse, but particularly sexual abuse, which was perpetrated by Church personnel. Feedback from survivors has highlighted the profoundly negative impact that abuse has had on their faith and relationship with God. Survivors have spoken about their struggle with their faith, and the sense of rejection by a Church who betrayed them, their feelings of loss, and darkness, of deep mistrust and suspicion of that Church and a sense of abandonment by God. It was bad enough that they had been abused, but this was collateral damage that has lasted for years.
Towards Peace arises out of the response from the survivors and it is one of three services set up as a result.
Towards Peace cannot promise success. Each person’s journey in channelling that inner life is unique and unpredictable, and ultimately mysterious. But we do promise to journey with them on the road, to accompany them on their search, to help them articulate their questions and to support them as they explore their hearts deeper desires.
- Towards Peace is a whole Church response towards helping the person directly with his or her relationship with God, with a Church that betrayed them, and with attending to that inner life.
- Towards Peace offers one to one accompaniment free of charge, to those who have suffered abuse from representatives of the Catholic Church.
The spiritual companions who will accompany those seeking to undertake this journey, are women and men, lay, religious personnel who live in various parts of the country and are trained to offer spiritual support and guidance to people. The spiritual companions all have experience of walking with people in their exploration of that inner life which as I say is common to us all. The meetings will be informal and will take place in a relaxed atmosphere.
There is no pre-determined road map for this journey. Each person travels their own spiritual journey at their own pace. Towards Peace is offering an invitation to those who feel ready for it, to set out on that road, to explore the landscape as it opens up before them, and to discover a path that leads towards a deeper peace. I invite you to review the details of our new service which are now available on www.towardspeace.ie.