The work of ascertaining the truth must continue in the Church and in Taizé

On the occasion of the European youth meeting in Rostock, Brother Alois wrote the following text to give an update on the work of ascertaining the truth begun by Taizé in 2019.

Taizé, 5 December, 2022

My brothers and I are very aware of the suffering of people who are victims of spiritual abuse and sexual assault in the Church. The lack of a clear and swift response in dealing with these situations has often compounded the pain caused by these offences and crimes. In Taizé too, as we explained in 2019, brothers in our community have committed sexual assaults. As I listen to the victims, I become more and more aware of the depth of the wounds. What has happened is intolerable and appalling to us and it keeps us from any form of idealizing our community.

We are also aware of the responsibility that falls to us, the brothers, because week after week we welcome young people who come to Taizé with the hope of finding trust in God, in life and in themselves. For this reason, it is essential that those who have experienced abuse in Taizé have the necessary means (email and www.taize.fr/protection) to be able to talk about it and to be heard; that those who have suffered, here or elsewhere, can speak about it; and that the integrity of each person is protected in Taizé as well as in the meetings we organise in other places.

If we are able to make progress on this path, it is thanks to people who have had the courage to tell us about the abuses experienced in Taizé, and to bodies outside our community who give us advice with a critical eye.

We continue the pilgrimage of trust and the meetings now bearing in mind the suffering of those whose trust has been abused, listening to the remarks and suggestions coming from outside, and doing everything possible, both within the community and in our pastoral mission, to make Taizé a safe place for everyone. It is with this attitude that we want to continue to move forward, with a renewed awareness of what is expected of us.

Brother Alois
Last updated: 5 December 2022