Hong Kong bishop asks abuse victims to forgive church
Published: April 1, 2010
HONG KONG (CNS) -- Bishop John Tong Hon of Hong Kong asked victims of priestly sexual abuse to forgive their abusers and help the church seek renewal during a chrism Mass on Holy Thursday. The bishop also encouraged the faithful to pray for Pope Benedict XVI, whose handling of child abuse cases when he was the archbishop of Munich, Germany, and as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has come under scrutiny in recent U.S. and European press reports. Church officials in Munich and the Vatican have defended Pope Benedict, saying that decisions involving priests accused of abuse were handled by others on his staff and that the pontiff has initiated strong measures to prevent abuse and punish abusers. "We all know that due to human weakness, many priests have committed this crime overseas and in Hong Kong," Bishop Tong told nearly 1,000 people gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. "We ask God to forgive us. We ask the victims and their families to forgive us. Their pain is the pain of the Lord. Their suffering is the suffering of the Lord. We must repent and beg the Lord to renew us," he said.
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