Archbishop Nichols gives keynote address at child protection conference

 "I am glad the abuse of children is now spoken about so much more openly. This enables us to acknowledge the terrible hurt that is caused and to work hard both in response to these tragic events and in preventing them" Archbishop Vincent Nichols, Chairman of COPCA, (Catholic Office for the Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults) told delegates at a study day organised by Birmingham Churches Together. This ecumenical event, on the theme Grace, Forgiveness and Trust: Challenges for Churches in Child Protection, was held at Newman College, Birmingham, on Saturday. Archbishop Nichols said: "In our response, the Church is always to work in partnership with professionals and public authorities. We can see in their work one of the ways in which the grace of God is present in our world. "Yet so much of the work of grace is hidden. And everyone can contribute to this hidden 'economy of grace', by prayer, by offering steadfast friendship, by uncomplicated acceptance. Often it is the practice of the faith which brings consolation, rather than the discussions and debates." Archbishop Nichols concluded his keynote address thanking all those involved in the vital work of child protection. Collette Ritson of the Methodist Church, National Chair of Christian Survivors of Sexual Abuse, emphasised: "You cannot expect survivors to dress up horrible things with nice language so that you can hear it. Sexual abuse is never nice or presentable." The study day also heard from Donald Findlater, of the Lucy Faithful Foundation. Source: Archdiocese of Birmingham

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