SCRANTON – The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. It is a time to recognize the importance of families and communities working together to prevent child abuse and neglect.

The month of April gives us all a chance to recommit ourselves to creating safe environments in our parishes, schools and related institutions.

The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, will celebrate the Diocese of Scranton’s annual “Healing Mass for Survivors of Abuse” on Thursday, April 11, at 12:10 p.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton.

For those unable to attend in person, the Mass will be broadcast live on Catholic Television of the Diocese of Scranton. A livestream will also be available on the Diocese of Scranton website, YouTube channel and links on Diocesan social media.


The work of protecting minors and other vulnerable people in the Catholic Church involves holding those in positions of power accountable for the abuse they commit, Pope Francis said.

The church’s safeguarding efforts “must undoubtedly aim at eradicating situations that protect those who hide behind their positions to impose themselves on others in a perverse way,” the pope wrote in a message to participants in a safeguarding conference.

In the message, released March 12, he also said the church must try to understand why such people are “unable to relate to others in a healthy way.”


The pope’s commission for advancing the Catholic Church’s efforts to prevent the abuse of vulnerable persons is due to submit its first annual report on the state of safeguarding in the church this summer.

The commission also announced the approval of a study group “to examine the reality of vulnerable persons in the context of the Church’s ministry and how this informs safeguarding efforts.”

The goal of the study group is to “adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to the questions around vulnerability to provide concrete recommendations on how the Church might better combat the harms committed against non-minors by the Church’s ministers in a variety of pastoral settings,” the statement added.