Pope Francis’ apology, call for solidarity and reform
The Vatican’s communications office released a statement by Pope Francis last week in response to the many allegations of abuse compiled in Pa. Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s nearly 900-page grand jury report. It detailed nearly seven decades of manipulative, corrupt and abusive acts by hundreds of priests throughout the state, including dozens who served in the local Diocese of Allentown.
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
Pope Francis’ quote from Saint Paul was followed by an acknowledgment not only of the great pain and suffering perpetrated upon minors, “deep wounds of pain and powerlessness,” but also that no mere apology will ever prove sufficient and that a cultural change is needed to prevent further abuses and cover-ups.
He said the outcry of those wronged is louder than the measures used to silence them, and that as the proud and mighty are cast down, the lowly are lifted up, “We feel shame when we realize that our style of life has denied, and continues to deny, the words we recite.
“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”
He calls for solidarity in fighting corruption in all its forms, but especially spiritual, while asking the faithful to join together in fasting and prayer to open the collective heart to the suffering of others.
“By an attitude of prayer and penance, we will become attuned as individuals and as a community to this exhortation, so that we may grow in the gift of compassion, in justice, prevention and reparation,” Pope Francis said.
The complete text is available at https://www.vaticannews.va/en/pope/news/2018-08/pope-francis-letter-peop....