Click here to read, “Local Group Questions The Need for Delegation’s Trip to Rome,” by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio, March 31, 2014
Excerpt: “There’s a lot of questions about the cost. There’s a lot of questions about was it necessary for this? Is this a publicity stunt to distract us away from the clergy sex abuse scandal? Is this a publicity stunt to distract us away from the financial difficulties?” Matthews says even though the trip was paid by funds raised by a separate non-profit organization set up for the World Families meeting, it doesn’t fit the example Pope Francis is trying to set for the church.
“This isn’t a pope of politicians and wealthy delegates. This a pope of the people and he’s made that clear,” Matthews says she and others would love to see the pope come here. But a more austere approach for a local church still in crisis would have been better.
LETTER TO POPE From Donna Marie, C4C reader:
In light of the current delegation lobbying in Rome to convince Pope Francis to visit Philadelphia, I would like to submit my own letter to his Eminence, Il Papa.
Dear Pope Francis, The Catholic Church is in trouble. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is in real trouble. Our mayor, Governor, and Archbishop Chaput are encouraging you to visit our City of Brotherly Love at a time when love seems far removed from the church. No doubt, your presence will provide an economic windfall for my city, as a million people are expected to attend; and you are admired by so many. I liken the ongoing dismissal of the victims abused by the very men who are here to represent the teaching of Jesus to a fractured family. If I may: “Once upon a time, a respected, loved, and trusted Grandfather was left to mind his adoring grandchild. Grandpapa did the unthinkable, and sexually abused the child. When discovered by the shocked and heartbroken parents, Grandpapa made every excuse in the book to explain his abhorrent behavior. The parents were torn. After all, their family was the pillar of society. Everyone knew and respected Grandpapa. What were the parents to do? Where they to throw everything away that was good for this one, albeit heinous, indiscretion? Comforting their child, the parents explained that Grandpapa would never again be left alone with him. Grandpapa would still, of course, be a member of the family. The child would see him at all family functions. Instead, Grandpapa would now be minding the child’s cousin over at his aunt and uncle’s house. Everything will be fine, and no one else has to know. To soothe their child’s nightmares and depression, the parents suggested that he begin praying to God every day to find it in his heart to forgive Grandpapa. After all, to ere is human, and to forgive divine, right? This will always be our family secret, they told the child.” Pope Francis, please repair the damage in your “home”, the church, before you visit mine. Only then will it be a trip worth taking. Nelson Mandela once said: “Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”