CWN – January 17, 2014
Will the Hierarchy of Bombay Archdiocese get the message?
At a Mass concelebrated with two cardinals, including Cardinal Roger Mahony, Pope Francis denounced the harm caused by clerical scandals.
In its summary of the January 16 weekday Mass homily,L’Osservatore Romano reported that the Pope preached:
“So many scandals that I do not wish to mention individually, but we all know about them. We know where they are! Some scandals have been very costly. Okay…” At this point, Pope Francis spoke bluntly about the “shame of the Church” over those scandals that echo as so many “defeats of priests, bishops and laity.”
The problem, the Pope continued, is that “the word of God was rare in those scandals. In those men, in those women, the word of God was rare. They did not have a bond with God. They had a position in the Church, a position of power as well as comfort” but not “the word of God.” The Pontiff added: “It is pointless to say “but I wear a medal, I wear a cross: yes, like those who carried the ark without a living relationship with God and with the word of God!” Then, recalling Jesus’ words regarding scandals, the Pope repeated that scandals bring about “the decay of the people of God, to the point of weakness and thecorruption of priests.”
Pope Francis concluded his homily with two thoughts: the word of God and the people of God. Regarding the first, he suggested an examination of conscience: “Is the word of God alive in our hearts? Does it change our lives, or is it like the ark that comes and goes” but “doesn’t enter our hearts?” Regarding the people of God, he paused to reflect on the harm that scandals cause them: “Poor people … poor people!” he said. “We do not give them the bread of life to eat! We do not give them the truth! So many times, we give them poisoned food!”
“It is so evident that Pope Francis is a man of prayer, a holy Successor to St. Peter,” Cardinal Mahony wrote on his blog. “It is remarkable how he is able to reflect on the Scriptures of the day without any notes or text — but flowing directly from his prayer life and from his heart.”
Later that morning, Cardinal Mahony met with Pope Francis, and the two discussed the needs of migrants, according to the retired Los Angeles archbishop.