In a letter, the cardinal writes “we sincerely ask for forgiveness for what we did wrong and for what we failed to do,” calling for “structural renewal necessary to root out from the Church every form of abuse, not only sexual but also of power and conscience.”
Bangkok (AsiaNews) - Card Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon (Myanmar) and president of the Federation of Asian Bishop’s Conferences (FABC), urges his fellow prelates in the continent to support Pope Francis’ call to protect children from abuse.
In a letter published on Sunday, the first cardinal from Myanmar underscores "the important need to turn this evil into an opportunity for purification” in the Church.
The prelate was among the delegates who took part in the meeting on ‘The Protection of Minors in the Church"’, held in the Vatican from 21 to 24 February 2019.
"After painful hearing of the victims of the terrible crimes of sexual abuse against minors committed by members of the clergy, we sincerely ask for forgiveness for what we did wrong and for what we failed to do,” the letter says.
“As shepherds entrusted with the flock, we know their pain and healing their wounds is at the core of the shepherd’s task,” it adds.
Together with the pontiff and the delegates at the meeting, Asia’s bishops also reiterated what Pope John Paul II said to US cardinals on 23 April 2002: "People need to know that there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young.”
Citing Pope Francis who spoke at the end of the meeting in the hall of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, Card Bo writes that “If consecrated persons, chosen by God to guide souls to salvation, let themselves be dominated by their human frailty or sickness [they] become tools of Satan.”
“The Church’s aim will thus be to hear, watch over, protect and care for abused, exploited and forgotten children, wherever they are.”
The FABC president ends the letter urging his fellow bishops to “entrust our resolve to the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of the clergy, to journey with us toward structural renewal necessary to root out from the Church every form of abuse, not only sexual but also of power and conscience.”