Dear Pope: Are We Talking?
I’m so glad you seem to be finding my advice helpful as you move to respond to the growing crisis over sexual abuse in the church. Your comments this week suggest that your understanding has deepened and your analysis is more on target.
I’m so glad you seem to be finding my advice helpful as you move to respond to the growing crisis over sexual abuse in the church.
Your comments this week suggest that your understanding has deepened and your analysis is more on target.
You said, “Attacks on the pope and the church come not only from outside the church, but the suffering of the church comes from inside the church, from sin that exists inside the church.”
The New York Times commented: “His remarks were at once aimed inside the church — a warning to clerics that crimes would not be tolerated — and outside, indicating for the first time since the abuse crisis had swelled in Europe that he personally understood the depth of the problem. The issue has revealed an ancient institution wrestling with modernity and brought to light an internal culture clash between traditionalists who have valued protecting priests and bishops above all else, and others seeking more transparency.”
Also good job on sounding less defensive and more willing to own the issues before you.
You said, “The church has a profound need to relearn penance, to accept purification, to learn on the one hand forgiveness but also the necessity of justice.” Now we are talking! And remember that justice, which includes confession and penance, must precede any talk of forgiveness.
So we will await your actions to follow your words, always holding onto a glimmer of hope that faithfulness to the Gospel may win out over protection of the institution.
My phone is always on.
Rev. Dr. Marie M. Fortune