Pope Francis prays the Church's 'shame' at scandal of child sex abuse
Pope Francis spoke of the Church's 'shame' at the scandal of child sex abuse at his traditional Via Crucis, or Good Friday 'Way of the Cross', near the Colosseum in Rome.
With crowds of 20,000 - a small fraction of those expected tomorrow for Easter Day - prayed of the 'shame for all the times that we bishops, priests, consecrated men and women we have scandalised and hurt your body, the Church; and we have forgotten our first love, our first enthusiasm and our total availability, leaving our hearts and our consecration to rust.'
Pope Francis was welcomed by Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, and Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Agostino Vallini, for the solemn candlelit service, Zenit newsagency reported on the Vatican website. The meditations for the Stations of the Cross were prepared by French biblical scholar, and winner of the prestigious Ratzinger Prize, Anne-Marie Pelletier.
Those who carried the cross to the fourteen Stations of the Cross included disabled people, students, Indian nuns and lay people Burkina Faso and Congo in Africa.
At the end he prayed:
O Christ, left alone and even betrayed and sold out by your own people.
O Christ, judged by sinners, delivered by leaders.
O Christ, in anguished flesh, crowned with thorns and clothed in purple. O Christ, scourged and nailed horribly.
O Christ, pierced by the lance that pierced Your heart.
O Christ, dead and buried, You Who are the God of life and existence.
O Christ, our only Savior, we come back to you again this year with eyes downcast with shame and with a heart full of hope:
He also spoke of the shame of 'the images of devastation, destruction and shipwreck that have become common in our live all the 'innocent blood' shed of women, children, immigrants and people persecuted for the color of their skin or because of their ethnic and social belonging and their Christian faith.