WASHINGTON (June 29, 2000) -- Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston will lead a special service focused on Atonement and Reconciliation, Friday July 7, during the Encuentro 2000: Many Faces in God's House celebration at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The service will acknowledge past wrongs, seek forgiveness, and work toward reconciliation within the church and human family. Particular areas of concern include attitudes and actions towards the Jewish community and other faith groups, alienated Catholics, women, those discriminated against because of skin color and nationality, slavery, immigrants, persons with disabilities, victims of scandal and sexual abuse, the poor and those whose very lives have been threatened through abortion and the death penalty.
The gathering will call upon the Church to see where members have failed to live up to the demands of the Gospel, to reflect on the hurt and harm caused and to seek renewal and reconciliation in the new millennium.
During the service representatives of several groups will reflect briefly on the challenges. Among them will be Bishop Donald Pelotte of Gallup, New Mexico, a descendant of Maine's Abnaki Tribe, speaking from a Native American perspective; Oblate Sister of Providence Mary Paul Lee, speaking from an African American perspective; and K. LaVerne Redden, President, National Council of Catholic Women, speaking from a perspective of women.
The Encuentro 2000 program is highlighting atonement and reconciliation in response to Pope John Paul II's call for the Church during the Jubilee Year to "kneel before God and implore forgiveness for the past and present sins of her sons and daughters."
At the Encuentro 2000 service, participants will gather around the Cross, use the symbol of light and end with a blessing of water.
Encuentro 2000 takes place July 6-9 and marks the national Jubilee Year celebration for the Church in the United States. It is hosted by the Hispanic community for all the ethnic and racial groups that comprise the Church in the United States at the start of the Third Millennium.
Persons seeking more information on Encuentro 2000 can go to the Web site www.encuentro2000.org.