Pope Benedict XVI is being praised for his speech in Lisbon, Portugal, on the clerical sex abuse scandals within the Catholic Church. “The church needs to profoundly relearn penitence, accept purification, learn forgiveness but also justice,” Benedict said.
The scandals are “born from the sins within the church,” and not from the media and critics from other faiths and Christiandenominations, he said.
Michael Sheridan, bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, took a similar compunctious approach in his latest editorial in the Colorado Catholic Herald.
Here are some excerpts:
“I think it does little good to cast blame solely at the media or plaintiffs’ lawyers.”
“I don’t think it’s helpful to point fingers at public schools or other groups and suggest that they are worse than the church has ever been. We must first remove the plank from our own eye before attempting to pluck a splinter from someone else’s. Accordingly, I want to reassure our Catholic faithful that the church in the United States has taken extraordinary and unprecedented steps over the past decade to ensure the safety of our children.”
“We cannot undo the sins of the past, but we can and will take every precaution to ensure that young people are protected now and in the future. Our children are our most precious treasure.”
You can read the entire editorial here.
I wrote a Pulpit column for the Gazette published April 7 that defended the Catholic Church in the wake of the media onslaught regarding the latest alleged clerical abuse scandals. You can read that column here.