Happy Birthday, il Papa! ad mustos annos. What a blessing he has been to us. He needs our prayers, folks. This week offer your Mass, your adoration, your special intentions up for the continued good health and blessings of our Holy Father.
Pope Benedict XVI has been instrumental in putting policies in place that protect all victims of abuse. All because of allegations that have surfaced since the 1980's and 1990's. Any form of sexual abuse is a horror and a sickness that time has taught us can not be cured. As a parent learns to discipline a child, they might try many methods before realizing that a whipping with a belt does not work. How many times I have heard a parent tell me that they were whipped with a belt and they turned our alright, so they rationalize that as a reason they discipline with a belt as well. We now recognize that form of discipline as a form of abuse. Years ago a teacher could spank a child in the school, with the permission and sometimes blessing of the parent. Now, in this day and age that teacher and parent could be brought up on criminal charges for whipping a child. My point being we can not place rules of today on situations that took place years ago. Thankfully, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger recognized the situation for what it was, something that needed to be changed. He implemented new guidelines and practices that garnered protection for minors.
We are blessed here in our archdiocese to have an incredible policy to safeguard our children. In the United States, the USCCB have made great strides in protecting the dignity of the child and the woman. Sadly it came with a price. You have to walk through the darkness, unfortunately, to get to the light and the Catholic Church throughout the world is coming into the light. We are a strong Church, founded on solid principles and teachings, the teaching of Christ Himself. Be ever vigilant and pray for all victims of abuse. If you have been in the darkness and come into the light as a victim, please know that the graces of healing and forgiveness are strengthened in you by the sacraments. We have a strong spiritual leader in our Holy Father, may God continue to bless him.
as multos annos.