Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online

7/8/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness.

For some time now I have felt in my heart deep pain and suffering. So much time hidden, camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained until someone realized that Jesus was looking and others the same . and they set about to sustain that gaze. And those few who began to weep have touched our conscience for this crime and grave sin. This is what causes me distress and pain at the fact that some priests and bishops, by sexually abusing minors, violated their innocence and their own priestly vocation. It is something more than despicable actions. It is like a sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God. And those people sacrificed them to the idol of their own concupiscence. They profane the very image of God in whose likeness we were created. Childhood, as we all know, young hearts, so open and trusting, have their own way of understanding the mysteries of God's love and are eager to grow in the faith. Today the heart of the Church looks into the eyes of Jesus in these boys and girls and wants to weep; she asks the grace to weep before the execrable acts of abuse which have left lifelong scars. - Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Highlights

By Catholic Online

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/8/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: sexual abuse, clerical sexual abuse, Pope Francis, Vatican,


VATICAN CITY, (Catholic Online) - We offer to our readers around the globe the official translation offered by the Vatican of a homily preached by Pope Francis on July 7, 2014, at the Chapel of St Martha. It was offered during the celebration of the Holy Mass over which the Pope presided. Six victims of sexual abuse by the clergy were present at the Mass.
------------------

HOMILY OF POPE FRANCIS

"The scene where Peter sees Jesus emerge after a terrible interrogation. Peter whose eyes meet the gaze of Jesus and weeps. This scene comes to my mind as I look at you, and think of so many men and women, boys and girls. I feel the gaze of Jesus and I ask for the grace to weep, the grace for the Church to weep and make reparation for her sons and daughters who betrayed their mission, who abused innocent persons. Today, I am very grateful to you for having travelled so far to come here.

"For some time now I have felt in my heart deep pain and suffering. So much time hidden, camouflaged with a complicity that cannot be explained until someone realized that Jesus was looking and others the same . and they set about to sustain that gaze.

"And those few who began to weep have touched our conscience for this crime and grave sin. This is what causes me distress and pain at the fact that some priests and bishops, by sexually abusing minors, violated their innocence and their own priestly vocation. It is something more than despicable actions. It is like a sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God.

"And those people sacrificed them to the idol of their own concupiscence. They profane the very image of God in whose likeness we were created. Childhood, as we all know, young hearts, so open and trusting, have their own way of understanding the mysteries of God's love and are eager to grow in the faith. Today the heart of the Church looks into the eyes of Jesus in these boys and girls and wants to weep; she asks the grace to weep before the execrable acts of abuse which have left lifelong scars.

"I know that these wounds are a source of deep and often unrelenting emotional and spiritual pain, and even despair. Many of those who have suffered in this way have also sought relief in the path of addiction. Others have experienced difficulties in significant relationships, with parents, spouses and children. Suffering in families has been especially grave, since the damage provoked by abuse affects these vital family relationships.

"Some have even had to deal with the terrible tragedy of the death of a loved one by suicide. The deaths of these so beloved children of God weigh upon the heart and my conscience and that of the whole Church. To these families I express my heartfelt love and sorrow. Jesus, tortured and interrogated with passionate hatred, is taken to another place and he looks out. He looks out upon one of his own torturers, the one who denied him, and he makes him weep. Let us implore this grace together with that of making amends.

"Sins of clerical sexual abuse against minors have a toxic effect on faith and hope in God. Some of you have held fast to faith, while for others the experience of betrayal and abandonment has led to a weakening of faith in God. Your presence here speaks of the miracle of hope, which prevails against the deepest darkness. Surely it is a sign of God's mercy that today we have this opportunity to encounter one another, to adore God, to look in one another's eyes and seek the grace of reconciliation.

"Before God and his people I express my sorrow for the sins and grave crimes of clerical sexual abuse committed against you. And I humbly ask forgiveness.

"I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves. This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk.

"On the other hand, the courage that you and others have shown by speaking up, by telling the truth, was a service of love, since for us it shed light on a terrible darkness in the life of the Church. There is no place in the Church's ministry for those who commit these abuses, and I commit myself not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not. All bishops must carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors, and they will be held accountable.

"What Jesus says about those who cause scandal applies to all of us: the millstone and the sea.

"By the same token we will continue to exercise vigilance in priestly formation. I am counting on the members of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, all minors, whatever religion they belong to, for they are little flowers which God looks lovingly upon.

"I ask this support so as to help me ensure that we develop better policies and procedures in the universal Church for the protection of minors and for the training of church personnel in implementing those policies and procedures. We need to do everything in our power to ensure that these sins have no place in the Church.

"Dear brothers and sisters, because we are all members of God's family, we are called to live lives shaped by mercy. The Lord Jesus, our Savior, is the supreme example of this; though innocent, he took our sins upon himself on the cross. To be reconciled is the very essence of our shared identity as followers of Jesus Christ. By turning back to him, accompanied by our most holy Mother, who stood sorrowing at the foot of the cross, let us seek the grace of reconciliation with the entire people of God. The loving intercession of Our Lady of Tender Mercy is an unfailing source of help in the process of our healing.

"You and all those who were abused by clergy are loved by God. I pray that the remnants of the darkness which touched you may be healed by the embrace of the Child Jesus and that the harm which was done to you will give way to renewed faith and joy.

"I am grateful for this meeting. And please pray for me, so that the eyes of my heart will always clearly see the path of merciful love, and that God will grant me the courage to persevere on this path for the good of all children and young people. Jesus comes forth from an unjust trial, from a cruel interrogation and he looks in the eyes of Peter, and Peter weeps. We ask that he look at us and that we allow ourselves to be looked upon and to weep and that he give us the grace to be ashamed, so that, like Peter, forty days later, we can reply: 'You know that I love you'; and hear him say: 'go back and feed my sheep' -and I would add - 'let no wolf enter the fold'".

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Universal:
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.



Comments


More Europe

Satire magazine Charlie Hebdo under fire for pasta-themed quake images Watch

Image of Charlie Hebdo shows victims of quake as tpyes of pasta (Charlie Hebdo).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Satirical French Magazine "Charlie Hebdo" has made waves yet again for its controversial comics. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The cartoon features rubble from Amatrice's quakes stacked up with the bodies of victims squished between each layer.The town is home to ... continue reading


Bodies found in London - Investigation reveals shocking discovery Watch

Image of DNA reveals possible cause of London's great plague.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Bodies discovered in a pit near Liverpool underwent DNA testing, leading scientists to a massive discovery. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Crossrail reported a burial pit contained as many as 100 bodies.Of those bodies, archaeologists removed 42 individuals, five ... continue reading


Did Michelangelo paint a secret message on the roof of the Sistine Chapel? Watch

Image of Scholars think this ram's head symbolizes the female anatomy.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Michelangelo may have been an incredible artist who painted the Sistine Chapel, but he was also somewhat subversive. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - According to experts from the UFCSPA in Brazil, Michelangelo included graphic symbols of female anatomy on the ... continue reading


'I get to relax and take care of myself': McDonalds throws awesome retirement party for employee Watch

Image of Freia David finally retired from her job at McDonalds (WBZ).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Freia David manned the french fry station at McDonald's for 32-years until it was finally time to retire. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to CBS Boston, David lives in a Charles River Center-supported home in Needham, which is a nonprofit organization ... continue reading


Hillary Clinton is GUILTY of allowing Apple to defraud EU Watch

Image of Irish eyes are not smiling at Hillary Clinton or Apple this morning.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The European Union has found Apple dodged taxes and owes billions in back taxes. Our sources say the massive tax heist took place under the watch of Hillary Clinton. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The European Union has ordered Apple to pay over $14.5 billion ... continue reading


Nuns oppressed at French beach Watch

Image of Nuns are no longer allowed to wear their habits to the beaches of Nice.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Rudy Salles, the Deputy Mayor of Nice, released a statement on Sunday regarding the use of religious clothing at public beaches. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - While many stand by France's decision to ban Muslim attire at public beaches, suddenly the thought of ... continue reading


Zuckerberg meets Pope Francis, what happens if they form an alliance? Watch

Image of Zuckerberg presents Pope Francis with a model of the Aquila, which will deliver internet to places without access.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis has met with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla at his home in the Vatican. The meeting was private, but the Vatican did issue a statement. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Pope Francis has met with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg at the ... continue reading


The Face of Italy's Earthquake: Who is the nun featured in this now ICONIC photo? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

She is now recognized as the face of Italy's earthquake, but who is the nun featured in the captivating photo of the earthquake's aftermath? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sister Marjana Lleshi was captured sitting, blood-stained and dirty, on the ground after ... continue reading


Four-year-old discovered ALIVE beneath dead sister's body in Italian earthquake rubble Watch

Image of Young girl dramatically rescued from debris.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Four-year-old Giorgia Renaldo was saved by the body of her eight-year-old sister, Giulia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Daily Mail, the 6.2-magnitude earthquake that struck near central Italy Wednesday morning left nearly 2,500 people homeless and ... continue reading


'I can only think of our nuns': Bishop disagrees with France's controversial burkini ban Watch

Image of France under fire for controversial burkini ban.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Amid fears of another ISIS attack in Europe, France's controversial "burkini" band has several calling hypocrisy. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic Herald, the secretary-general of the Italian Bishops' conference, Bishop Nunzio Galantino, ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Job 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23
1 In the end it was Job who broke the silence and cursed the day of his ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8
2 may my prayer reach your presence, hear my cry for help.3 ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 9:51-56
51 Now it happened that as the time drew near for him to be taken up, he ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for September 27th, 2016 Image

St. Vincent de Paul
September 27: St. Vincent de Paul was born to a poor peasant ... Read More