08/27/2018, 14.02
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Pope: Calls for forgiveness and for resignations

by Franco Pisano

At the end of the trip to Ireland, Francis renews his appeal for forgiveness for the abuses committed by people in the Church. But a dossier by the former nuncio in the US accuses him of covering the misdeeds of former Cardinal McCarrick and calls for him to resign.

Rome (AsiaNews) – The call for Pope Francis to resign is just the latest chapter in the ongoing conflict within the Church between "conservatives" and "progressives". Of course it is an unprecedented fact. Above all for the motive behind the call: that the pope would have covered the misdeeds of Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, accused of sexual harassment against young seminarians.

The charge is made all the more serious by the fact that it came at the climax of the Pope's trip to Ireland, during which Francis repeatedly expressed "shame" and "sorrow" for the abuses that occurred in the past years within the Church, not only Irish.

Again yesterday, during the Mass that concluded the World Meeting of Families, in the Confiteor he read a thought written in Spanish, and therefore evidently in his own hand: " Yesterday, I met with eight survivors who have suffered abuse of power, of conscience and sexual abuse. Taking up on what they said to me, I want to place before the mercy of the Lord these crimes and ask forgiveness for them. We ask forgiveness for the abuses in Ireland, abuses of power, of conscience and sexual abuse perpetrated by members with roles of responsibility in the Church. In a special way, we ask pardon for all the abuses committed in various types of institutions run by male or female religious and by other members of the Church. Furthermore, we ask forgiveness for the cases of exploitation through manual work that so many minors were inflicted.

We ask forgiveness for the times that as a Church we did not show survivors of all kinds of abuse: compassion and the search for justice and truth through concrete actions. We ask forgiveness.

We ask forgiveness for some members of the Church’s hierarchy who did not take charge of these painful situations and kept quiet. We ask forgiveness.

We ask forgiveness for the children who were taken away from their moms and for all those times when many single mothers were told that to seek their children who had been separated from them – and the same was told to their daughters and sons who were looking for their mothers – that this was a mortal sin. This is not a mortal sin but the Fourth Commandment. We ask forgiveness.

Lord, sustain and increase this state of shame and repentance and give us the strength to commit ourselves so that these things never happen again and justice may be done. Amen".

This is the context behind the accusation against Francis, contained in a long and complex dossier of the former apostolic nuncio in the USA, Msgr. Carlo Maria Viganò: He claims Francis did not listen to complaints that for years had been weighing against McCarrick, who  reportedly sponsored his election during the conclave, even if in July removed him from the College of Cardinal, precisely because of the abuse. It is also alleged that Benedict XVI had tried to impose the isolation of McCarrick, without succeeding because the US cardinal enjoyed protection from the highest levels of the Vatican hierarchy. In the dossier dozens of names of prelates, accused in various ways, appear.

As for Francis, he was allegedly personally informed by Msgr. Viganò in June 2013.

Francis was questioned about the dossier and the allegation sit contains yesterday, during his flight from Ireland to Rome, during his usual meeting with journalists. "I read that statement this morning," Francis replied. "I read it - he added - and I sincerely have to tell you this: read the statement carefully and make your own judgment. I believe that the communiqué speaks for itself, and you have enough journalistic capacity to draw conclusions It is an act of trust: when some time has passed and you have drawn conclusions, perhaps I will speak again. But first may your professional maturity do this job: it will do you good, really.

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