Sunday, September 27, 2015

Pope Francis Addresses Clergy Sex Abuse and New Definitions of Marriage

As reported by Vatican Radio, Pope Francis today in Philadelphia held a private meeting with victims of clergy sexual abuse. He then addressed a meeting of bishops and departed from his prepared remarks to begin as follows:
I hold the stories and the suffering and the sorrow of children who were sexually abused by priests deep in my heart.  I remain overwhelmed with shame that men entrusted with the tender care of children violated these little ones and caused grievous harm.  I am profoundly sorry. God weeps.
The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must no longer be held in secret.  I pledge the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all.
They, the survivors of abuse, have become true heralds of hope and ministers of mercy. We humbly owe each one of them and their families our gratitude for their immense courage to shine the light of Christ on the evil of the sexual abuse of children.
I’m telling you this because I’ve just met with a group of sex abuse victims who are being helped and accompanied here in Philadelphia.
The remainder of his remarks to the bishops are also carried in the same Vatican Radio coverage. Those remarks included the following, which appears to be a reference to the legal recognition of same-sex marriage:
Needless to say, our understanding, shaped by the interplay of ecclesial faith and the conjugal experience of sacramental grace, must not lead us to disregard the unprecedented changes taking place in contemporary society, with their social, cultural – and now juridical – effects on family bonds.  These changes affect all of us, believers and non-believers alike.  Christians are not “immune” to the changes of their times.  This concrete world, with all its many problems and possibilities, is where we must live, believe and proclaim.
Until recently, we lived in a social context where the similarities between the civil institution of marriage and the Christian sacrament were considerable and shared.  The two were interrelated and mutually supportive.  This is no longer the case.