Card. Hummes invites priests around the world to Rome with the Pope
As scandals regarding paedophile priests and attacks against Benedict XVI continue, the prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy asks all priests to show solidarity with the pope. Without hiding the scourge of sexual violence, the cardinal expresses "gratitude" for the mission of priests "who serve the Church and humanity."

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - " In the face of the frequent attacks direct towards him at this moment of time, in the field of his decisions with regard to clerics involved in crimes of the sexual abuse of minors " it is important "to offer our beloved Pope Benedict XVI our solidarity, our support, our confidence, and our unconditional communion" with these words Card. Hummes, prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has invited priests from around the world to attend the closing ceremonies for the Year for Priests, from June 9 to 11, in St Peter’s Square.

"Their presence in large numbers in St. Peter's Square with him - the cardinal explains - will be a determined rejection of the unjust attacks of which he is a victim”.   It has become clear to many that the sad affair of paedophile priests has become (or was orchestrated) a campaign designed to tarnish the moral authority of Benedict XVI.  

Card. Hummes does not hide the scourge of sexual abuse among the clergy. "It's true - he says - some priests were guilty of horrible crimes of child abuse. A fact that we reject and condemn absolutely and without compromise. They must answer before God and before the courts of the world, both in criminal and civil matters. We are above all close to the victims; we want to support them by helping them recover their violated rights".

On the other hand, card. Hummes points out, "it is absolutely unacceptable to use the crimes of the few in order to sully the entire ecclesial body of priests. Those who do so commit a profound injustice".  

The cardinal has words of comfort for the priests, who in this year dedicated to their vocation, are perceived to be at the centre of scandal and suspicion. "Once again - he says - we want to express our gratitude for what you are and do in the Church and society. The Church, the Pope loves you, respects you and admires you. The people of God, Christians and Catholics of the world welcome you and support you, especially in these times of suffering .... Your presence in St. Peter's Square, will be a proactive and responsible way for priests to show themselves ready and unintimidated for the service of the humanity entrusted to them by Jesus Christ, the first pastor. Your visibility, before the modern world, will be a proclamation of their being sent not to condemn the world, but to save it".


Photo: CPP