After it was announced in February that in the last 70 years there have been more than 4,500 victims of sexual abuse in the Portuguese Church, Pope Francis admitted at the Jerónimos Monastery, where he prayed at Vespers, that the Holy See has been shaken by scandals that have the people of the Church.
“Sometimes we can feel a similar weariness on our ecclesial journey, when we have nothing but empty nets in our hands. This is a feeling that is widespread in countries with an ancient Christian tradition, which have undergone many social and cultural changes and are increasingly marked by secularism, indifference towards God, and a progressive distancing from the practice of faith. Indeed, this is often seen to be accentuated by the disappointment and aversion that some have towards the Church, due, at times, to our bad witness and the scandals that have disfigured her face and that call us to a humble and constant purification. , starting from the cry of suffering of the victims who must always be welcomed and listened to”, said the Pope to the pilgrims and priests who gathered in Bethlehem to listen to him.
The Pope also gave solutions in this Mass, mentioning that one of the hypotheses is “to move from defeatism to faith”, “to carry out the pastoral work together”, that is, not to be alone, and even “to become fishers of men”, of in order to help believers “to rise again from where they have sunk” and to raise them “from all manner of death”.
After this homily, it became known that the Pope met at the Apostolic Nunciature with 13 victims of sexual abuse by the Portuguese Church. This meeting lasted an hour and took place, according to the Church, “in an atmosphere of intense listening”.
“This afternoon, after the end of the institutional meetings and with the Church, Pope Francis received at the Nunciature a group of 13 people, victims of abuse by members of the clergy, accompanied by some representatives of institutions of the Portuguese Church, responsible for for the protection of minors”, can be read in the statement sent to newsrooms by the Holy See.
Pope Francis is in Portugal until the 6th of August, Sunday, to participate in the World Youth Day that will bring to Lisbon more than one million pilgrims from 184 countries in the world.
Text originally published in RFI
Join our WhatsApp group, clicking on this link
Join our Telegram channel, click this link