Pope urges US bishops to heal divisions, repair trust
Pope Francis is encouraging U.S. bishops meeting near Chicago to unify as the Roman Catholic church deals with a “crisis of credibility” stemming from the clergy sex abuse scandal.
In an eight-page letter addressed to the bishops and released to the media Thursday, Francis acknowledged that “no response or approach seems adequate” to the crisis that represents a grave threat to his papacy. Still, he wrote, all church leaders must reckon with parishioners’ pain, heal internal divisions and devise specific approaches that go beyond “creating new committees or improving flow charts.”
“I would like to draw near to you as a brother and to reflect with you on some aspects that I consider important,” Francis wrote, “while at the same time encouraging your prayer and the steps you are taking to combat the ‘culture of abuse’ and to deal with the crisis of credibility.”
The pope did not specifically say he is part of the credibility crisis, but he considers himself personally engaged and involved in the rehabilitation effort.