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

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”