The Catholic bishops of France held a day of prayer and fasting for sex abuse victims within the Catholic Church, Crux reports.

The French bishops gathered in the city of Lourdes, a leading pilgrimage site, for their biannual plenary assembly Monday. They devoted the day in prayer “for forgiveness for the sins committed by members of the clergy.”

Bishop Luc Crepy gave the homily during a Mass and he urged his peers to support and play their part in “this fight against scandalous and criminal actions affecting the smaller ones.”

According to The Associated Press, Bishop Crepy was appointed earlier this year to head a church panel targeting pedophilia acts. He announced a series of measures to fight child sexual abuse. There is a prevention program in seminaries, and students trained for priesthood are taught about legal procedures in the event a priest is accused of sex abuse in minors.

“The church is sick and will remain sick from all those who fault and in the end betray the confidence of young people and children,” Crepy said on BFM-TV.

The French church said meetings about pedophilia would be held in Lourdes, as well as Masses across the country.

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