While forgiveness and reconciliation are central themes in the church's proclamation of the gospel, superficial understandings that separate them from justice and repentance have serious consequences for Christian ministry to survivors and perpetrators of abuse, and for the church's witness to wider society.
This theological and pastoral resource addresses specific challenges to the church as it seeks to speak truthfully in the aftermath of abuse, and provides material to help parishes and dioceses who find themselves facing the complex realities of such issues. It explores key questions:
- What do we mean by 'abuse'?
- What is distinctive about abuse as a form of sin?
- Is there a place for repentance by churches?
- How should the church speak of being forgiven and forgiving?
- Does the church have a ministry of reconciliation in the aftermath of abuse?
Designed to complement the Church of England's extensive safeguarding practice guidance, this resource provides guidance for all who preach, teach and exercise pastoral ministry in the Church of England. It has been approved and commended for study by the House of Bishops.