.- In response to a sexual abuse lawsuit filed against a Mexican priest, the National Council of Laity (NCL) in Mexico condemned such crimes, but expressed its solidarity with the thousands of priests who generously serve others and have nothing to do with such conduct.
In a statement, the Council expressed is “regret and indignation” over the cases of sexual abuse committed by some priests. Nevertheless, the group said, “Our hearts remain filled with joy and hope at the heroic service and generous commitment of the immense majority of our more than 14,000 priests, who we thank for their ministry and who we encourage and invite to remain faithful in their vocation of service and love to God and the Church.”
The NCL called on Mexicans to denounce cases of sexual abuse “with Christian courage and clarity,” because they are “a terrible assault on the suffering victim” and an attack against the family and all of society. “We insist that this is about a crime, and as such it should be punished according to the law, regardless of the status of the aggressor,” the statement emphasized.
The group likewise urged prayers for both the victims and the offenders, that there might be “justice and well being for both,” and “conversion of heart for the latter.” The faithful should pray for priests, that the Holy Spirit would help them “in times of trial.”
The NCL said Catholics should treat priests with great respect and fraternal love, “so that they may find in us and our families true brothers and sisters with whom they can share, recreate and grow in a balanced way.”