A “mea culpa” to abuse


Pope Benedict XVI. and the Vatican apparently want to ask for forgiveness for sexual abuse by Catholic clerics with a "mea culpa". The request for forgiveness could be similar to the historic "Mea culpa" of the last Holy Year under John Paul II. designed to be.

At the conclusion of the Year for Priests on 11. In a liturgical act on June 6, the Church seeks the forgiveness of God and of fellow human beings for the offenses committed by clergy and other Church employees against children and minors, according to Vatican sources. In addition, in a circular letter at the end of the theme year, the pope wanted to address the approximately 400.The Pope asked the Catholic Church to address the thousands of Catholic priests around the world and to address these offenses in it. The Vatican's Congregation for the Clergy, which is in charge of the Year for Priests, would not confirm the speculation.

In 2000, John Paul II asked. for forgiveness for wrongdoing Already since the beginning of the abuse crisis, observers amed that Benedict XVI would. wanted to address the scandals first in a spiritual setting, such as in a liturgical act of penance and reconciliation. At that time, on 12. March 2000, which the church declared a "day of forgiveness," John Paul II asked. in a sensational, though not uncontroversial, act of asking forgiveness for errors and failures of the Church and Christians throughout history. In seven intercessions he deplored "methods of intolerance" of Christians, he condemned the divisions of Christianity and confessed the sins against the people of Israel. Furthermore, he spoke about the misconduct of Christians against peace, against the rights of peoples, against respect for religions and cultures. Further commented on sins against the dignity of women and against the unity of the human race. The last intercessory prayer spoke of "sins on the territory of the fundamental rights of the person". It said, "Let us pray for all the people of the earth, especially for the minors who have been abused, for the poor, the marginalized, and the last."

An admission of guilt and a plea for forgiveness A similar act of penance could also be made by Benedict XVI. for a confession of guilt and a petition for forgiveness, it said. At that time, there had also been concerns in the College of Cardinals that today's church could not apologize for the offenses of previous generations. A report by the Commission of Theologians entitled "Remembering and Reconciling" was published. However, "The Church and the Misconduct in its Past," published a few days before the historic ceremony, provided clarification. Pope's apparently planned letter to priests is to pick up the tradition of the earlier "Maundy Thursday letters". John Paul II. addressed an annual circular to his clerical collaborators on that day of Holy Week, which the Church celebrates as the day of the institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood. It received little response at last, Benedict XVI. Let the custom fall asleep. After his personal gestures – such as the meeting with abuse victims in Malta – and after public appeals, he apparently also wants to address the scandals in a more systematic way. Cardinal Claudio Hummes, Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, had already addressed the abuse scandal in the invitation to the international closing celebration of the Year for Priests. Some clerics had committed "terrible and most serious offenses of sexual abuse against minors," he wrote. Acts that we must "absolutely and unyieldingly reject and condemn". This will probably also be the framework for the Pope's letter, for his speeches at the closing ceremonies and in general for the program of the international priests' meeting. That the spiritual year for priests, which opened last June, would be overshadowed in this way by the series of scandals is something the organizers probably did not expect in their darkest visions.

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Christina Cherry
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