BROOKLYN - Victims of sexual abuse by clergy members came together Wednesday for a special Mass centered around healing.

The Mass was held at the Cathedral of Saint James in downtown Brooklyn.

Philip Franco was among the survivors who came forward and asked the Roman Catholic diocese of Brooklyn to hold the Mass in the hope and healing and honoring those who have suffered. He says that he hopes the Mass helps others come forward.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio led the Mass. He says it gave the church an opportunity to publicly apologize and offer support to those hurt.

The service was not without those opposed to it. Some protesters says that the Catholic church is blocking a bill to extend the statute of limitations for reporting sexual abuse. They are calling on DiMarzio for support.

DiMarzio says the Mass is just the beginning of the healing process. He says he plans on holding similar services in the future.