WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the following statement in response to Pope Francis's Letter to the People of God, issued earlier today. In his letter addressed to the whole People of God, the Pope calls on the Church to join in acts of prayer and fasting in "combatting all forms of abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience."
Cardinal DiNardo's full statement
"I am grateful to the Holy Father
for his Letter to the People of God, responding to the Pennsylvania
Grand Jury investigation and other revelations that have surfaced. The
very fact that he opens the letter with the words of Saint Paul: 'If one part
suffers, all parts suffer with it' (1 Cor 12:25), shows that he is writing to
all of us as a pastor, a pastor who knows how deeply sin destroys lives. I find
these words of the Holy Father particularly helpful: 'penance and prayer will
help us to open our eyes and our hearts to other people's sufferings and to overcome
the thirst for power and possessions that are so often the root of those
evils.' These words must provoke action - especially by the
bishops. We bishops need to- and we must - practice with all humility
such prayer and penance.
"The Holy Father is also inviting,
and I am asking this as well, that all the faithful join in prayer and fasting
as a way to help foster conversion and genuine change of life wherever it is
needed, even in the shepherds of the Church. Jesus remarked once, 'This
kind can only come out through prayer and fasting' (Mark 9:29); a humble
reminder that such acts of faith can move mountains and can even bring about
true healing and conversion.
"On behalf of my brother bishops, I
offer that only by confronting our own failure in the face of crimes against
those we are charged to protect can the Church resurrect a culture of life
where the culture of death has prevailed."