In his video address, Pope Francis reaffirmed the fight against abuse after the Vatican's McCarrick report. Even in dark times, the Pope also encourages prayer. For St. Martin's Day, the head of the church paid tribute to the saint via Twitter.
Following the publication of the report on moral offenses by ex-Cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the role of the Vatican, Pope Francis has reaffirmed the will to fight abuse. "I renew my closeness to the victims of every abuse and the commitment of the Church to eradicate this evil," he said Wednesday in his weekly video message from the Vatican. Referring to McCarrick, he spoke of a "painful case".
On Tuesday, the Vatican had presented a roughly 460-page report by the curia's leadership on the rise of McCarrick, now 90, who was one of the most influential U.S. clergymen in the Catholic Church. Following allegations of sexual abuse of minors, McCarrick was dismissed from the cardinalate in 2018 and from the clergy in 2019.
The report highlights a systemic failure of the church hierarchy to take seriously evidence of moral misconduct by the bishop at the time that had been circulating since the 1990s, including an abuse of his position of power for the sexual exploitation of adult candidates for the priesthood and clergy.
Francis urges prayer in dark times
Pope Francis encourages prayer even in dark times. "Many saints have experienced the night of faith and the silence of God and yet have persevered," he said in a video address Wednesday at the Vatican. "God knows what we need, but sometimes waits for us to purify our requests."Fervent prayer does not have to convince God, but serves to keep the desire of the person praying alive.
Praying can often seem like a useless effort, pope says. Practicing prayer also means accepting this trouble. "Even in the night of faith, we never pray alone," Francis stressed. Jesus, he said, is not only a teacher of prayer, but includes all the faithful in his own praying.
"As in our interpersonal relationships, the words 'thank you,' 'please,' 'excuse me' are important in our prayer. This is how we enter into a true dialogue with God. 'We discover that God is a compassionate Father who always takes care of us,' Pope said.
The address from the library of the Apostolic Palace currently replaces the weekly general audiences. Because of the Corona pandemic, meetings with pilgrims and visitors at the Vatican are canceled until further notice.
Pope Francis tweets on Saint Martin's Day
Pope Francis paid tribute to St. Martin of Tours on his Memorial Day Wednesday with a tweet. Saint Martin distinguished himself "by a Gospel charity toward the poor and marginalized," the head of the church wrote. "May his example teach us to be ever more courageous in faith and ever more generous in charity."
St. Martin was probably born in 316/17 in the town of Sabaria, Szombathely (Steinamanger), located in present-day Hungary. The son of a Roman tribune joined the army at his father's request. After his conversion, Martin was baptized at the age of 18, quit military service and became a hermit. From 371, he was bishop of Tours on the Loire River; he died on 8. November 397 in his diocese.
According to legend, the Franconian national saint shared his coat with a freezing beggar. The gesture is commemorated by the traditional St. Martin's processions around the saint's memorial day on 11. November. Due to the Corona crisis, this custom is cancelled in its usual form this year.