AS IT TRIES to move past the clergy sex-abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced earlier this week that it will host its first Mass for survivors of abuse.

The Mass for Healing, which will take place March 22 at Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul, will be led by Archbishop Charles Chaput and focus on prayers for the victims, the healing of the church and all those affected by the abuse.

The Archdiocese said some survivors have been invited and are expected to attend the 5:15 p.m. Mass, which will also be broadcast via a live stream on the Internet.

"The purpose of the Mass is to promote healing through prayer for the victims of clergy sexual abuse and for all who have been affected by clergy sexual abuse," spokesman Ken Gavin said in an email.

The announcement comes the same week as published reports that the Archdiocese will no longer accept applications for a small program that pays the Catholic-school tuition of the children of victims of clergy sex abuse.

Gavin said the Mass was being planned for the past six months, and the timing of the announcement has no connection to the tuition program's elimination.

Chaput has committed to holding the Mass annually for at least the next five years, Gavin said.