Pope Francis visited the United states this week, beginning in Washington D.C., followed by a trip to New York City and later Philadelphia. He concluded his first visit to the US by conducting mass twice on Sunday.
It comes as no surprise to his followers that he would stand before them and condemn sexual abuse of young persons by Catholic priests. Using the words, “God weeps,” he once again parlayed God as the higher power and urged the Catholic church to hold responsible the persons who committed such crimes. These trusted individuals were supposed to care for and be role models to the youth. The Pope apologized for the deviant actions of others, and regretted that the families were not even heard when they did come forward.
Pope Francis met with families who had members abused even by bishops of the church. He met with groups and individuals to hear their stories and pray with them.
A commission has been formed to seek out where to proceed forward with this devastating issue. Since its a papal commission one would expect it to be looked over by the Pope himself. The St. Charles Borromeo Seminary held the morning mass directed by Pope Francis. He also went to a Philadelphia prison, held hands and touched heads; he even hugged a prisoner. The inmates gave him a gift, a chair they made for him.
Words may not heal everyone in regards to the sexual abuse scandal; but certainly setting matters straight through the eyes and mouth of this Pope may make a clearer path of this atrocity, which affected the United States for decades, by simply removing the clergy or church worker, and sending them off to other facilities, thus not owning up to the illicit actions.
The final message will come on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway when Pope Francis will give an open mass to the public. There could be hundreds of thousands in attendance. If it’s any indication from the previous two days where thousands have come to see him, touch him, or hear him speak, then today could be more of the same with enthusiasm and diverse crowds. The Pope departs for Rome at 8 pm.
In case you traveled abroad, or were in seclusion this past week, Pope Francis arrived in America and was greeted by the 1st Lady Michelle and President Obama at the airport no less. He drove off in a Fiat, an Italian car, followed by the big muscle SUV’s in the front and to the rear of the processional. He met with President Obama for discussions and also gave a speech before Congress and, of course, you have people who like that idea and people who don’t. It’s only a speech, he is not taking over the world or buying and selling arms for Jesus sake. But what he is doing, is uniting people, and that’s a lot more than our own Congress can do, which shuts down every year or two, unable to balance a budget or agree on medical issues. Divisive seems to be our motto in Washington.
The Pope was a breath of fresh air, light in his tone, to the point and delivered his speech with grace, bringing John Boehner, the Speaker of the House, to tears. The humanness of it all was very touching. Can we not proceed forward without tripping over ourselves, our own words or viewpoints, over and over, on and on?
Possibly, Jorge from South America, appointed Pope Francis in February 2013 didn’t want the job initially, knowing he would have to be himself filled with God’s inspiration. Were we ready for a unifier? Time will tell. Pope Francis’s speech at the age of 78 for the World Meeting of Families was brilliant. Apparently, he winged it ditching his written speech for the great story teller that he is. It was his moment in time to shine. He did.
Inspired by the families which gave testimonies in faith from all over the world, Pope Francis gave back on Saturday night, live on air. “Society is strong if its edified on beauty, goodness and truth.” He talked from his heart, his wisdom, and his truth he sees as he travels the world living modestly. His love and acceptance of all peoples and faiths distinguishes him and enables him to motivate others. They in return have faith in him and his words.
Opinion by Kim Troike