On Friday, Pope Benedict, gave conclusion to the Year of the Priest. In the speech the Pope addressed the sex abuse in the priesthood and said that “We, too, insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the person’s involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again”.
This was a genuine moment. Whereas most politicians and celebrities might just apologize, the head of the Roman Church was going further by asking and begging for forgiveness. Some think the pope is perfect and above asking for forgiveness, but he is not. The pope is still human and is impacted by this as demonstrated a few weeks ago in Malta when he wept with the sex abuse victims.
Text excerpt from Pope Benedict, June 11, 2010
“…And so it happened that, in this very year of joy for the Sacrament of the priesthood, the sins of priests came to light – particularly the abuse of the little ones. … We too insistently beg forgiveness from God and from the persons involved, while promising to do everything possible to ensure that such abuse will never occur again; and that in admitting men to priestly ministry and in their formation we will do everything we can to weigh the authenticity of their vocation and make every effort to accompany priests along their journey”.
“Had the Year for Priests been a glorification of our individual human performance, it would have been ruined by these events. But for us what happened was precisely the opposite: we grew in gratitude for God’s gift, a gift concealed in ‘earthen vessels’ which ever anew, even amid human weakness, makes His love concretely present in this world. So let us look upon all that happened as a summons to purification, as a task which we bring to the future and which makes us acknowledge and love all the more the great gift we have received from God. In this way, His gift becomes a commitment to respond to God’s courage and humility by our own courage and our own humility”.
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