To those of you who heard mass last sunday, you will have probably heard the pastoral letter read in al parishes.
To be really frank, I believe it was a humble letter meant to be addressed to the faithful. It was not a political statement that sided in any way with anyone. it shared the condemnation of sensless killing yet made sure it would not blame anyone for it.
Its tone was concilatory, and focused on the actions of Christians as they respond to challenges to their faith at the presnt time, rather than admonished others.
What it also said i found a bit startling...
For the first time, the Church heirarchy admitted to wrongdoing and abuse within its ranks and made a commitment to correct it. This is a watershed moment that has raised the expectations of the faithful who worry that scandals and criminal activities involving clergy are not addressed. I hope that the CBCP under Archbishop Valles will take concrete action on this rather than conceal as others have done. this is deep cancer eroding trust in religious institutions. This is more harmful than any politician's words. When trust is broken, people will no longer listen.
It also the first time that The Church heirarchy proclaimed and explained their non participation in moves to cause political destabilization, and instead championed its desire to collaborate more closely on common projects with government. This puts the political activity and advocacies of certain noisy Bishops in question, since the root of their statements, for example, against federalism, really have no basis in faith and morals. This is just plain politicking using Church influence and resources. This has to stop.
In sum, it was a statement meant for people to recollect, learn from past and current mistakes and move on, rediscovering their evangelistic mission to love life and create peace. We hope that the errant Church leaders heed this particular letter.