He said he understands when victims of abuse do not forgive their assailants, and said he prayed for them both.
Editor’s note: NCR will be tracking reception to Pope Francis’ visit to the United States.
“We renew our faith in the word of the Lord which invites faithful families to this openness”, he said at the VIII World Meeting of Families. Pope Francis caught a glimpse of the baby, and she was handed off to his security guard so that the Pontiff could give her a kiss.
“But when a priest carries out abuse, it’s very serious because his calling is to help a child grow… towards the love of God”, he said. Both parties heard a challenge from the pope.
Francis also met thousands of people and addressed several controversial topics, including climate change, hostility towards immigrants, and not tolerating sex abuse within the Catholic church. “Even a few bishops who covered this up, it is a bad thing”, the pope said, quoted by Vatican Radio. Your care for me and your generous welcome are a sign of your love for Jesus and your faithfulness to him. He told then to use their time in prison to get their lives back on track, and he said the suggestion that people can’t change is a lie.
He said, “In my heart, the suffering of those youth that were sexually abused, and it continues to be on my mind”.
“If a person has done wrong, is conscious of what he has done, and does not say sorry, I ask God to take him into account”. Pope Francis was riding in style everywhere he went. It was particularly moving for me to canonize Saint Junípero Serra, who reminds us all of our call to be missionary disciples, and I was also very moved to stand with my brothers and sisters of other religions at Ground Zero, that place which speaks so powerfully of the mystery of evil.
Pope Francis listens to applause before addressing a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington. Johnson, stirred by the show of his city in welcoming Pope Francis, painted the pontiff as people watched him on giant screens celebrate his final Mass of his six-day stay in the United States. “I am also conscious of the courage with which you have faced hard moments in the recent history of the Church in this country without fear of self-criticism and at the cost of mortification and great sacrifice, he said”.
Francis criticized those who attempted to comfort victims by saying, “Don’t worry that was nothing”, and said abusers who were unrepentant would be judged by God.
“I felt the need to express compassion because something really bad happened”, he said in reference to the September 23 speech, explaining that numerous bishops who suffered “did not know of this”.