A Turn for the Better

Antagonists worldwide in their campaign against Pope Benedict XVI might be well on the way towards a conversion towards a more protagonist view of the Pope and the Catholic Church. Since the Pope’s return from his apostolic visit to Malta, there has been a strong flurry of activities related to the removal, retirement or replacement of some bishops that failed to adequately respond to the clergy sex abuse crisis. Just a few days ago, Pope Benedict XVI promised action in regards to dealing with the ongoing crisis; now the actions are taking place within episcopal conferences around the world.

The acknowledgment of the Holy Father of the extreme gravity of the crisis clearly indicates that there is indeed an acceptance and understanding of the issues that often undermine the Church through some sexually rogue clergy. The rash of episcopal resignations are the first effective sign that Benedict’s promise for appropriate response will yield more changes that are positive factors in restoring ecclesial unity throughout the world.

Some observers might think Benedict’s acceptance of these resignations is a punitive response to episcopal incompetence all around the world. His response in this manner is really the first step in paternal correction and guidance to the world’s Catholic bishops that seemingly has not always happened in the last few decades. By the removal and replacement of the world’s bishops that failed to adequately react and respond to the clergy sex abuse scandal, the stage is set towards stronger reformations of the Church’s internal policies and relationship with civil judicial authorities.

What appeared just a few weeks ago, as a conspiratorial attempt to collectively hide the incidents of sexual misconduct and abuse is now just the opposite. The Church is stating clearly and with authority that the abuse of children is never acceptable and will no longer be tolerated. The Vatican Press Office released the current norms enacted for handling accusations of sexual abuse by clergy and the worlds bishops are firmly behind the desire for total transparency.

Pope Benedict XVI deserves strong accolades for his swift actions in handling the crisis. More importantly, he needs the prayerful support of all of the world’s Catholics, while making definitive changes in the manner the Church acknowledges and repents from abuse allegations. The secular media has been very intent on listing the inadequacies of the Church’s handling of this crisis. Now, the world needs to permit Pope Benedict XVI, with the guidance of the Holy Spirit to heal the wounds of the scandal and observe institutional penance for the shortcomings.

This period is perhaps one of the most painful for the life of the Catholic Church, because it has been forced by the sex abuse scandal to look into the unattractive image the mirror presents and make changes. The Church does not usually move quickly on many issues and matters. It responds in a manner that is usually slow and meditative. Benedict’s quick reaction illustrates the Church is clearly sorrowful for its behavior and now seeks forgiveness and reconciliation.

It is especially significant that the Holy Father has asked the forgiveness of the world, the crisis occurred globally. Catholicism as a global entity is moving into a state of institutional penance. Most importantly, the Church has resolved that this will never happen again. Such resolution is intrinsic to the Sacrament of Reconciliation in the Catholic Church for every baptized Catholic that takes part in the Sacrament. The Church, as the Body of Christ makes the same confession of sin, acknowledgement of the grievous nature of the offenses and firmly resolves to avoid future occurrences of the same grievous sin. Now it is time for forgiveness and absolution, restitution and reconciliation.

The notion that,” the Church prays as the Church believes” also applies to the manner in which the Church operates daily. Pope Benedict XVI is reminding everyone world wide that the Church is taking the definitive course towards healing and conversion in regards to its own shortcomings. Pray for Pope Benedict XVI, all of the victims of clerical sex abuse, both clergy and laity alike. We as members of the Mystical Body of Christ have all been hurt by the scandal. Pray now for healing.

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  • rakeys

    Although it has been very painful to admit and then dismiss Bishops and priests who have sexually abused minors, it is also now the time to dismiss all the bishops and priests who have supported politicians who have voted for legislation that allows abortion.
    Although many bishops have thought they were helping pedophile priests by giving them psychological treatment and then believing that the priest was truly sorry for his sins and promised not to do it agian, allowed him to minister to choldren again. The world still holds them accountable for the next child to be molested.
    It is time to admit that although some priests,bishops and politicians believe they are helping poor women who have an unwanted pregnancy by allowing them to have an abortion. Thw world and God still must hold them resposible for the next unborn child to be killed in the womb.
    What is the difference? Molest a young child or kill an unborn baby, sometimess tearing them limb from limb? Why do we tolerate either?

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  • Therese

    I have been reading about all of this clerical abuse from the very beginning (Boston), holding firm in my faith and belief in the goodness and holiness of the overwhelming majority of priests and bishops. I have felt outrage and sadness at the attacks on the Holy Father.
    Today, I am just plain ANGRY. Angry at the priests and bishops who abused their priestly vocation and violated other human beings. It seems like there are so many!! The number of culpable bishops has my head spinning.
    Years ago, when I first read prophecies from the Blessed Virgin Mary to various individuals foretelling this horror, I could not imagine it.
    I am so sad and heartbroken.
    I believe it is time for all of the good priests and bishops to speak out loud and clear on what is moral and immoral, right or wrong, etc. Enough of this “pastoral” minimizing and fake tolerance. Souls are being LOST!!!