Skip to main content

Pope Francis "seeks" pardon for abuses committed in institutions run by religious members of Church

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
The World Meeting of Families, which began on August 21 in Dublin, Ireland, concluded on  the evening of August 26 with a Eucharist presided over by Pope Francis. The meeting had for its theme, ‘The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World’, underlying the importance of the family in our world today.
The Concluding Eucharist was a moving and joyful experience to the thousands gathered at the massive Phoenix Park there and to the many more across the world who watched the proceedings live on TV. Inclement weather in Dublin did not deter the crowds from this once-in-a-lifetime experience. For it is in joy, we celebrate the family.
In March 2016, following the Synods on the family held in 2014 and 2015, Pope Francis gave to the Church and to the world, his Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (‘The Joy of Love’). The Dublin meeting revolved very much around this pathbreaking document. Prior to the meeting, Pope Francis sent the organisers a preparatory letter, stating among other things:
“I wish to underline how important it is for families to ask themselves often if they live based on love, for love and in love. In practice, this means giving oneself, forgiving, not losing patience, anticipating the other, respecting. How much better family life would be if every day we lived according to the words, 'please', 'thank you' and 'I’m sorry'. Every day we have the experience of fragility and weakness, and therefore we all, families and pastors, are in need of renewed humility that forms the desire to form ourselves, to educate and be educated, to help and be helped, to accompany, discern and integrate all men of good will.”
We need to celebrate the fact that it is in the family where one can truly nurture these values.
Faith is always nurtured in the family. This is exactly what the powerful icon of the Holy Family very vividly displayed during the Meeting and Mass, represent. The Icon of the Holy Family, commissioned for the 2018 World Meeting of Families was written by iconographer Mihai Cucu, who comes from Romania. Mihai was assisted by the Redemptoristine Sisters of the Monastery of St Alphonsus, Iona Road, Dublin. It was truly a work of their prayer and of love:
“We were drawn to an image of the Holy Family at table, sharing a meal and sharing their faith, as suggested by the Gospel of Luke chapter 2. An obvious Gospel text reflecting God’s concern for marriage is the Wedding at Cana in the second chapter of the Gospel of John. And finally, the other Gospel that came to mind was the Raising of Jairus’ daughter as found in chapter 5 of Mark’s Gospel. There we see Jesus’ response to a family with a sick child and how he respected that family’s privacy in the midst of emotional turmoil when it came to the moment of healing” (click HERE). 
It is in faith we celebrate family.
During the concluding Eucharist, Pope Francis focused on the ‘Family and Forgiveness’ In his opening prayer (which apparently came straight from his heart) he said:
“We ask forgiveness for the abuse in Ireland. Abuses of power, conscience and sexual abuse perpetrated by members with roles of responsibility in the Church. In a special way we ask pardon for all the abuses committed in various institutions run by male or female religious members of the church and we ask for forgiveness for those cases of exploitation through manual work that so many young women and men were subjected to. We ask forgiveness for the times that as a church we did not show survivors of whatever kind of abuse compassion and the seeking of justice and truth through concrete actions. We ask for forgiveness.”
A prayer which drew spontaneous applause from the huge crowd. For it is in forgiveness we celebrate the family!
Speaking of forgiveness within the family, one is reminded of Saint Mother Teresa. She once said:
“Jesus taught us how to forgive out of love, how to forget out of humility. So let us examine our hearts and see if there is any unforgiven hurt-any unforgotten bitterness! It is not always easy to love those who are right next to us.It is easier to offer food to the hungry than to answer the lonely suffering of someone who lacks love right in one’s own family. The world today is upside down because there is so very little love in the home, and in family life.”
Mother Teresa hits the nail on the head. Today is also her 108th birth anniversary. As we celebrate her memory, let us celebrate our own family, by praying to her and asking her to intercede for us!
Our world today is becoming more and more fragmented. A far cry from that of yesteryears when what mattered most was one’s family. In that comfort zone we were nurtured and grew in faith, we found forgiveness and acceptance, warmth, joy and above all, love.
---
*Indian human rights activist. Contact: cedricprakash@gmail.com

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

Ex-IAS, IPS, IFS officers tell Modi: Pragya Thakur doesn't represent India's rich heritage

Counterview Desk
In an open statement, a group of former civil servants have said that normally they would have dismissed the candidature of Pragya Thakur, who is BJP’s choice for the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency, as an act of political expediency. However, they were forced to react to her candidature after none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi termed has as a “symbol of our civilisational heritage.”

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".