PANAMA CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis mentioned on Saturday the Roman Catholic Church was weary and “wounded by her own sin,” in an obvious reference to the worldwide sexual abuse disaster.
Pope Francis leaves after a mass at Church Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria La Antigua throughout World Youth Day in Panama City, Panama January 26, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso
Francis made the remark in the homily of Mass for clergymen, nuns, and members of Catholic lay organizations in Panama City’s newly renovated cathedral of Santa Maria Antigua, the primary in mainland America, which was accomplished in 1716.
The pope, who’s in Panama for a worldwide gathering of Catholic youth, has referred to as a summit of the heads of nationwide Catholic church buildings on the Vatican from Feb. 21-24 to focus on what’s now a worldwide sexual abuse disaster.
The February assembly affords an opportunity for him to reply to criticism from victims of abuse that he has stumbled in his dealing with of the disaster and has not finished sufficient to make bishops accountable..
In his homily, Francis spoke of “The weariness of hope (that) comes from seeing a Church wounded by her own sin” and of a Church “which so often failed to hear all those cries”.
He used the phrases “weary,” “wearisome” or “weariness” about 20 instances in the homily.
Brenda Noriega, a youth minister from San Bernardino, California, who was in a delegation that had lunch with the pope, mentioned she introduced up the sexual abuse disaster in the United States.
“The pope said it is a horrible crime. He reminded us that it is important to accompany the victims, to walk with them, and to be a united Church,” she instructed reporters afterwards.
Last 12 months was an “annus horribilis” for the pope, with abuse crises exploding in a number of nations, significantly Chile and the United States.
Following accusations of a canopy up of abuse in Chile, all 34 of the nation’s bishops provided their resignations. Francis has thus far accepted seven of them however has additionally defrocked two Chilean bishops accused of molesting minors.
Last August, the Church in the United States was rocked by a damning grand jury report on the sexual abuse of kids by clergymen in Pennsylvania over a 70-year interval.
Francis has urged predator clergymen who’ve sexually abused minors to flip themselves in, and has acknowledged that the Church had made critical errors in the previous.
Before leaving for Panama, Vatican spokesman Alessandro Gisotti mentioned a gathering between the pope and victims of clergy abuse was not on the schedule. On previous journeys, nevertheless, such conferences had been introduced solely after they happened.
During the morning Mass, Francis led an elaborate service in which he consecrated the basilica’s new altar, donning a white apron over his vestments as he rubbed it down with holy oil and blessed it with incense.
Relics of three Latin American saints – Saint Rosa of Lima, Saint Oscar Romero and Saint Martin de Porres – in addition to a relic of Saint John Paul II, had been put in in the altar.
Romero, a champion of the poor, was killed by a right-wing loss of life squad in San Salvador in 1980 and was made a saint by Pope Francis in 2018.
Reporting by Philip Pullella; modifying by Diane Craft and Jonathan Oatis
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