Loading
Forgiveness, strength in 'The Passion' essential to deal with crisis, says bishop

.- Forgiveness and strength, as demonstrated by Jesus and Mary in Mel Gibson’s film, “The Passion of the Christ”, are necessary in order to face the sexual-abuse crisis that hit the U.S. Church, said Bishop Samuel J. Aquila in a letter to the faithful of the Diocese of Fargo. The letter was issued Feb. 27, which the bishop designated a day of prayer for the healing of the victims of sexual abuse. That same day, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice issued its national survey on sexual abuse by clergy in the U.S. Church. The results indicated that about four percent of clergy over a 52-year period were accused of sexually abusing about 10,600 minors.

The bishop said forgiveness is essential in order to face and move beyond the sexual-abuse crisis. The forgiveness demonstrated by Jesus in “The Passion” when he utters, “Father, forgive them,” must also be spoken by the faithful and by those who are victims of abuse if healing in the Church is to take place, said the bishop.

“To the victims of sexual misconduct, by clergy or by others, forgiveness is at the heart of the healing process and it is by far the hardest task of all,” he said. “The act must always be condemned, but the person, if there is to be healing, must be forgiven. That is true in every type of hurt experienced by a human being, even one as serious as sexual abuse.” 

The bishop said, in watching the film, he viewed the Passion through the eyes of Mary, adding that he was struck by her strength, her suffering, and her forgiveness. 

“As I prayed this morning for the victims of sexual abuse by clergy I placed them under the mantel of Mary, our Mother, seeking her intercession for them, seeking her forgiveness, seeking her strength for them and her faith, for she, too, can bring healing for them,” he said. He encouraged the faithful, too, to pray for the intercession of Mary in the healing of all victims of sexual abuse.

“I am convinced, as a bishop, that the only one who can bring healing to any victim of sexual abuse … is Jesus Christ and the love of God,” he said. 

The bishop said the Church is called to insure the proper protection, diligence, and reporting of any type of sexual misconduct. But it is also called to respond to the call to holiness and to teach clearly about sin. The Church can no longer tolerate moral laxity, he said.

“Each and every one of us must respond to the call to holiness, to live as Christ lived,” said Bishop Aquila. “That means for us, too, that we must embrace the truth, the meaning and the dignity of human sexuality, which is grounded in the inherent dignity of the human person.” 

The bishop expressed his willingness to meet with victims of sexual abuse and said a victim’s advocate office has been established in the diocese.

“We must continue to reflect upon this subject [of sexual abuse], as unpleasant as it is, for it calls us to conversion, forgiveness and faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “It calls us to holiness.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: