As Pope Benedict XVI comes under vicious criticism by the media regarding claims of clergy sexual abuse, the president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops has sent a letter to the Holy Father offering his prayers and support on behalf of the Bishops of Canada.
Bishop Pierre Morissette writes: "We recognize with admiration and gratitude that your personal leadership in the face of these heinous crimes has been strong and decisive."
The leader of the diocese of Bishop of Saint-Jérôme also recalled the Holy Father's meeting with National Chief Phil Fontaine last April, where the Pontiff offered his "deep sorrow and empathy to the victims of various forms of abuse among Canada’s First Nations in our former Residential Schools".
Expressing confidence in Pope Benedict's leadership, the Bishop concluded his letter: 'Be assured that we stand with you in your resolve to lead the Church on "a path of healing, renewal and reparation.'"
See the full text of Bishop Morissette's letter below:
Letter of support to the Holy Father from CCCB President Bishop Pierre Morissette
29 March 2010
On behalf of the Bishops of Canada, I am writing today to assure you of our unequivocal support as we witness in the Canadian media and elsewhere an unprecedented number of reports which claim that you have not responded properly to the problems of sexual abuse of minors. We recognize with admiration and gratitude that your personal leadership in the face of these heinous crimes has been strong and decisive.
Note the following links on the CCCB website as well:
And of course, as posted on the S+L blog Tuesday, comments by Archbishop Thomas Collins
of Toronto, from his Chrism Mass homily.