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Washington D.C., Jan 3, 2019 / 12:00 pm (CNA).- Pope Francis has written to the bishops of the United States calling for a “change of mindset” to restore the Church’s credibility and trust among the faithful.
“Clearly a living fabric has come undone, and we, like weavers, are called to repair it,” the pope wrote in a letter to the American bishops, dated Jan 1 and released Thursday by the U.S. bishops’ conference.
Repair - Process - Change - Mindset - Bishops
This repair process must involve a “change of mindset” by bishops in relation to prayer, power, exercising authority, and handling money, he explained, with the change rooted in an acknowledgment of the “sinfulness and limitations” which necessitate God’s grace.
The letter was sent ahead of the U.S. bishops’ weeklong retreat at Mundelein Seminary, in the Archdiocese of Chicago. The retreat was proposed by the pope in October as an opportunity for them to reflect and pray after a year of scandals which have rocked the Church in the U.S. and worldwide.
Months - Scandals - Allegations - Theodore - McCarrick
Following months of scandals, including the allegations against former cardinal Theodore McCarrick and the release of the Pennsylvania grand jury report, American bishops met in November for their annual general assembly in Baltimore, at which bishops vocally disagreed with one another on the root causes of the crisis facing the Church, and on the best means of addressing it.
Acknowledging that recent abuse scandals have undercut the credibility of the Church in the United States, Pope Francis said that a cover-up mentality “enabled them to fester and cause even greater harm to the network of relationships that today we are called to heal and restore.”
Body - Bishops - Credibility
A unified body of bishops, he said, would be helpful in regaining this credibility.
“Credibility will be the fruit of a united body, that, while acknowledging its sinfulness and limitations, is at the same time capable of preaching...
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