There will be much comment in the media this weekend concerning the Pastoral Letter of the Holy Father Pope Benedict to the Catholics of Ireland. The Holy Father apologizes to victims of abuse who have suffered the “grave betrayal” of these “egregious crimes”. Pope Benedict also refers to “grave errors of judgment and failure of leadership” on the part of some Bishops.
May I encourage you to read the letter itself: the text is available at the Vatican website.
Please remember in your prayers all those who have been victims of abuse. The Holy Father encourages the Irish Catholics to offer up their Friday penances for the coming year to Easter 2011 to beg for God’s mercy, healing and for the renewal of the Church.
It would be fitting for us to join in solidarity with this spiritual proposal and to respond to his request to give particular attention to regular Eucharistic Adoration and the Sacrament of Penance.
This evening I have spent a little time on the unpleasant task of looking at some of the media coverage. The other day, there was a piece saying something like "Pope's letter - but will it include apology?" Now that it is impossible for anyone to deny that it has, they have dropped that piece and continued along the lines of "Apology not enough" and attack the letter for not being about Germany. They are essentially using the plight of abused children and scandalized Catholics to further their secularist, anti-Catholic agenda while distracting everyone from benefiting from the wise pastoral advice of the Pope. I got sick of it after browsing a few clips.
In one particularly contemptuous piece, a BBC correspondent says of the Pope's letter, "essentially his remedy is more prayer". So just a few snippets by way of reply to that:
Pope Benedict urges:
* "acknowledge before the Lord and before others the serious sins committed against defenceless children"
* "concerted effort to ensure the protection of children from similar crimes in the future"
* "establish the truth of what happened in the past, to take whatever steps are necessary to prevent it from occurring again, to ensure that the principles of justice are fully respected, and above all, to bring healing to the victims and to all those affected by these egregious crimes"
Pope Benedict criticises:
* "the tendency during this period, also on the part of priests and religious, to adopt ways of thinking and assessing secular realities without sufficient reference to the Gospel"
* "well-intentioned but misguided tendency to avoid penal approaches to canonically irregular situations"
* "a misplaced concern for the reputation of the Church and the avoidance of scandal"
* "failure to apply existing canonical penalties and to safeguard the dignity of every person"
Pope Benedict tells priest abusers:
"You betrayed the trust that was placed in you by innocent young people and their parents, and you must answer for it before Almighty God and before properly constituted tribunals. You have forfeited the esteem of the people of Ireland and brought shame and dishonour upon your confreres. Those of you who are priests violated the sanctity of the sacrament of Holy Orders ..."
Pope Benedict tells Irish Bishops:
"It cannot be denied that some of you and your predecessors failed, at times grievously, to apply the long-established norms of canon law to the crime of child abuse. Serious mistakes were made in responding to allegations. [...] it must be admitted that grave errors of judgement were made and failures of leadership occurred. All this has seriously undermined your credibility and effectiveness [...] continue to cooperate with the civil authorities in their area of competence"
More prayer would be good as well and he does indeed mention this. Penance too. Read the whole thing. It is a noble and powerful response.
- American Papist Blog
- American Spectator
- Archbishop Tim Dolan's (NY) Blog
- Big Blue Wave
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC News Site)
- Catholic Dialogue Blog
- Catholic Education Resource Center
- Catholic Exchange
- Catholic Heritage Website (Ireland)
- Catholic Insight
- Catholic News Agency
- Catholic Online
- Catholic Sensibility
- Catholic, and Loving It
- CTV News Site
- Ethics and Public Policy Center
- First Things
- Fr. Raymond De Souza - National Post Columnist
- Fr. Raymond deSouza personal blog
- Freethroughthought blog (excellent site)
- Friar Rick's Webblog
- Get Religion.org
- Global TV News Site
- Holy Post - National Post Religious Blog
- Inside Catholic Blog
- New Advent
- Pave the Way Foundation
- Priests for Life Canada Website
- ProLife Blog
- Roman Catholic Diocese of Pembroke
- Rosary for the Bishops
- Salt & Light TV - Canadian Catholic Television Website
- Sandro Magister
- Sane Conservatism
- SoCon (social conservative)
- Sylvia's Website: Canadian Clergy Sex Abuse Cases
- The Catholic Register
- The Hermeneutic of Continuity
- The National Post: Canada's National Daily
- The New Jesuit Review
- The New York Times Website
- Vox Nova
- What Does Prayer Really Say - Priest bolg
- Whispers in the Loggia
- ► 2014 (1533)
- ► 2013 (1381)
- ► 2012 (1527)
- ► 2011 (1437)
- Catholics' ties to church tested by crisis
- Maureen Dowd (NYT) hurls more insult and abuse at...
- Check, recheck and triple check » GetReligion
- Catholic Culture : Latest Headlines : Pope has Can...
- Here's a new website that is devoting itself to pr...
- The Catholic Register - D&P, LifeSite rev up their...
- One of those 'inspirational messages' that float a...
- It's time to call in help to clean up the mess!
- George Weigel & Jay Scott Newman add more evidence...
- Frank Bruni puts scandals in perpective - We have ...
- Scoundrel Times: George Weigel addresses the dama...
- This is a 'major' demonstration?
- The Catholic Revolution... Thanks Cristina!
- IRREFUTABLE PROOF!! With great appreciation to Fr....
- Fr. Dwight Longenecker offers wisdom in dealing wi...
- New York Times tries to turn up the heat on the Ch...
- What's with the sleeping dog you ask?
- Need more proof that War has indeed begun in earne...
- Spaghetti Carbonara... a favorite of mine!
- The Pope and the Wisconsin sex abuse scandal: I sm...
- A Response to Christopher Hitchens' The Great Cath...
- Temporal Weapons that we should use in promotion o...
- Further evidence that the War is on in earnest!
- A CALL TO ARMS: War must be engaged with energy an...
- Over on the NP Holy Post blog, "robertbj" understo...
- Support the Pontiff with more than prayer
- TRUTH : Papal writings to the Irish Church - To p...
- TRUTH : Papal writings to the Irish Church - To...
- More evidence of media bias against the Pope - Tim...
- Pope Benedict's Letter to the Irish Church - put i...
- A reposting of what it means to be an "evangelical...
- Model for Canada to follow in addressing sex abuse...
- Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!
- A German Catholic asks: “If you get divorced and r...
- The Human Experience: Narrated in part by Fr. Ric...
- Not entirely theologically sound... but wise none ...
- New addition to the Cafeteria vending machine offe...
- A little 'artistic' fun
- Prayer Request
- Sympathectomy of the Soul: From Joe Carter (First ...
- Live Abortion on Social Media - Catholic Online
- In anticipation of St. Patrick's Day....
- For all those who claim that JPII and B16 have kil...
- Canada's hockey Olympic glory... told to the tune ...
- Sex Abuse Scandal touches Vatican itself
- Dutch bishop calls for sex abuse investigation | F...
- A moment of your time please for a personal reques...
- Martin poses a great question to be answered by a ...
- A little penguin humor to "break the ice"
- A FISH STORY worth telling... thanks to Martin!
- RJN addresses the issue of the role of religion in...
- New Edition of the New Jesuit Review
- Two great friends of mine, and of all the Catholic...
- A Failure of Leadership
- A MUST SEE for any Star Trek fan out there whose i...
- In response to todays Gallup Poll, I offer this re...
- 'Bubba' the new Walmart 'greeter' offers a wry bit...
- The horrendous cost of the sex abuse scandals: Vi...
- ▼ March (59)