Nick Benson

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In letter, pope encourages priests dejected by abuse crisis

Pope Francis acknowledged the shame and frustration felt by priests who are discouraged by the actions of fellow clergy members who betrayed the trust of their flock through sexual abuse and abuse of conscience and power.

In a letter addressed to priests around the world on 4th August, the pope said that many priests have spoken or written to him expressing “their outrage at what happened” and the doubts and fears the sexual abuse crisis has caused.

“Without denying or dismissing the harm caused by some of our brothers, it would be unfair not to express our gratitude to all those priests who faithfully and generously spend their lives in the service of others,” he said.

Commemorating the 160th anniversary of the death of St John Mary Vianney, patron saint of parish priests, the pope praised those priests who, like their patron, carry out their mission “often without fanfare and at personal cost, amid weariness, infirmity and sorrow.”

However, he also shared his concern that many priests “feel themselves attacked and blamed for crimes they did not commit.”

Nevertheless, the pope said, the current crisis is a time of “ecclesial purification” that “makes us realise that without (God) we are simply dust.”

Picture: Pope Francis uses incense to bless new priests before their ordination Mass in St Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on 11th May 2014. In a letter addressed to priests around the world on 4th August, Pope Francis acknowledged the shame and frustration felt by priests who are discouraged by the actions of fellow clergy members who betrayed the trust of their flock through sexual abuse and abuse of conscience and power. (CNS photo/Stefano Rellandini, Reuters).

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OTHER NEWS

Far too many homeless people still not safely housed, say charities

"Far too many" homeless people are still on the streets, in shelters and hostels, despite the Government aiming to have all rough sleepers safely housed by last weekend. Last week the Government asked local authorities to do everything to "get everyone in" by the end...

Pope encourages Catholics to contemplate ‘seven sorrows’ of Mary

On the Friday before Holy Week, Pope Francis asked people to keep a long tradition of Catholic piety by focusing on "the suffering and sorrows of Our Lady." "Honour Our Lady and say, 'This is my mother,' because she is mother. This is the title that she received from...

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Top gardening influencer Ellen Mary reveals how families can reconnect with nature in their own garden. By Hannah Stephenson. If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden, there’s lots of ways you and your family could enjoy it – and connect with nature and benefit...

How to make the most from your daily exercise

The government has announced strict new measures for tackling coronavirus. Now in lockdown in an effort to beat the virus, Boris Johnson announced last week that we are only allowed to leave the house for the following reasons: Shopping for basic necessities One form...

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The Music Scene pays tribute to the legendary Kenny Rogers… US singer Kenny Rogers spanned folk, psychedelic rock and country music across a six decade career. However, running throughout was a thread of story telling and complex characters, from the paralysed Vietnam...