April 19th, 2008
by David Fortwengler
The pope, refreshed from a day of not “mentioning it”, began day 5 of his visit by celebrating Mass at historic St. Patrick's Cathedral. Over 3,000 pre-invited bishops, priests, religious and seminarians from all over the country were in attendance. He began his homily by discussing the needs and benefits of spiritual unity and evangelizing. He talked a lot about the heritage, spiritual tradition, architecture, and even the windows of the Gothic Cathedral.
Finally, in paragraph 12, “within the context of our need for the perspective given by faith, and for unity and cooperation in the work of building up the Church”, he mentioned it.
In summary, he tells them he has already spoken about it, the church is suffering, he is close to them while they deal with the challenges of the situation, he is praying for healing, encourages them to work with the bishops who are doing a good job, and to move forward with a love for the truth.
Tell em what you told em
Amazingly, the experts and pundits all confirm this an official “ he mentioned it again” moment. Tell em what you will tell em, tell em, tell em what you told em. If you repeat it enough times....
I suggest the pontiff ask Father Tom Doyle, Bishop Gumbleton, Father Jim Moran, Father Bob Hoatson, Father Ken Lasch, Sister Maureen Turlish or many others: How’s it going for religious moving forward with the “hope and love for the truth plan?”
Kelly Clarkson meets the Pope
Later that day, the Pope attended a scheduled outdoor rally with 25,000 youths and seminarians. In a pre-planned appearance, singer Kelly Clarkson performed. The Pontiff received a rock star welcome. If I had the known Pope was meeting with five survivors, I would have requested Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. In his remarks, the Pope talked about his upbringing in Nazi Germany. He deeply understands the suffering caused to good citizens because of the immoral and criminal actions of their leaders. It clearly affected him and changed his life.
I wonder why the Church is suffering?
to be continued....
text at St. Patrick's
“Here, within the context of our need for the perspective given by faith, and for unity and cooperation in the work of building up the Church, I would like say a word about the sexual abuse that has caused so much suffering. I have already had occasion to speak of this, and of the resulting damage to the community of the faithful. Here I simply wish to assure you, dear priests and religious, of my spiritual closeness as you strive to respond with Christian hope to the continuing challenges that this situation presents. I join you in praying that this will be a time of purification for each and every particular Church and religious community, and a time for healing. I also encourage you to cooperate with your bishops who continue to work effectively to resolve this issue. May our Lord Jesus Christ grant the Church in America a renewed sense of unity and purpose, as all – Bishops, clergy, religious and laity – move forward in hope, in love for the truth and for one another.”