To love and protect: safeguarding young people is at the core of the church’s ministry / America

Archbishop of Chicago Blase Cupich offers his interpretation of Pope Francis’ apostolic letter on bishop accountability, Come una Madre Amorevole (Like a Loving Mother).

A year ago this July, as Pope Francis apologized to a group of victims of sexual abuse by members of the clergy, he said the church must ask for ‘the grace to weep before the execrable acts of abuse which have left life-long scars.’ He told them that his heart weeps in anguish when he recognizes that what was done to victims was ‘something more than despicable actions. It is like a sacrilegious cult, because these boys and girls had been entrusted to the priestly charism in order to be brought to God.’ He also pledged decisive action that would bring this sense of horror, utter violation and sacrilege to the structure of church leadership by issuing policies that would hold bishops and religious superiors accountable. This spring, Pope Francis did just that, with the publication of ‘Like a Loving Mother.’

“This decree has received wide coverage by the media and commentators. The major part of the decree outlines a process for the removal of church leaders for acts that do grave damage to the church. As a result, most reports and comments (whether favorable or not) have framed this decree as a tool to punish church leaders.

“Those who applaud it note that finally church leaders will be held accountable. Those who criticize it object that nothing has changed. They decry that there is no tribunal as originally announced, and they question if handing this task off to four different Vatican offices will dilute the resolve to dismiss bishops for negligence, as the new document promises.”

By Archbishop Blase Cupich in America: The National Catholic Review — Click here to read the rest of this article.

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