Homophobia, Resigning, and Unrest In Rome
Pope Francis has proven once again that he is willing to face criticism in order to put himself in front of his flock to protect them, as a shepherd should. The beloved and charismatic leader of the Catholic Church sat in from of cameras on Wednesday to ask for forgiveness for the Church. With the Church making headlines recently this week, it’s no wonder that the Pope felt the need to reassure Catholics everywhere.
Although Pope Francis didn’t specify the exact reasons why he was asking for forgiveness, there have been speculations based on recent events in the church. The First being a Vatican Monsignor who not just came out as being gay after calling for a press conference, but also appearing in front of cameras with his boyfriend. He not only revealed that they were living together for years, but also denounced the practice of homophobia in the Catholic Church.
A few days later, the Mayor Ignazio Marino resigned in scandal. His resignation followed criticism from within the church that he didn’t prepare the city adequately enough for Francis’ Jubilee Year of Mercy. Millions of pilgrims are expected to arrive in the city starting in December. Pope Francis himself even critically spoke of Marino on his way back from his trip to the U.S.
Finally, the Pope’s synod has been facing scrutiny after it was revealed that a dozen conservative cardinals wrote to the Pope with serious concerns regarding the way that the meeting was being run.
The Pope addressed thousands of people in St. Peter’s Square:
“Before I begin the catechesis I would like in the name of the church to ask your forgiveness for the scandals which have recently fallen on Rome and the Vatican…I ask your forgiveness.”
The Reverend Federico Lombardi, spokesman for the Vatican, declined to specify which scandals Pope Francis was referring to and that his apology was intended to be,
“ample and general.”
Regardless of which scandals that he was referring to, we applaud Pope Francis in the fact that he was willing to face the masses and ask for apologies for the Church. We as Christians are taught to repent and ask for forgiveness. We should expect the same from our leaders and institutions who make mistakes as well.