La Estrella de Panamá

22 de Oct de 2019

El Papa en Panamá

The Church is injured by its sins’, the mea culpa of Pope Francis

The Pope recognized that the Catholic Church as an institution has its own sins


Pope Francis in his sermon to consecrate the first cathedral on land in the country, the Santa Maria La Antigua Cathedral Basilica, located in Panama City Old Quarter (Casco Antiguo) said that the “tiredness of  the hope is born when you see a church wounded by its sin.”

“How many times have you not been able to hear the screams that were hidden in the scream of the Master: ‘My God, Why have you forsaken me?’

Francis, during his homily at the Basilica, in his fourth day in Panama, where he is participating in the XXXIV World Youth Day pointed out to the fatigue of certain priests due to the “long working hours that leave very little time to eat, rest and be with the family.”

He also mentioned the “toxic labor and affective conditions” that  lead to exhaustion and crack the heart; from the simple and voluntary surrender to the routine weight of somebody who is not at ease with himself, the recognition or the necessary sustenance to face the day to day; from  habitual and expected complicated situations to stressful and distressing hours of pressure. A whole range of weight to bear".

Pope Francis added that it will be impossible to try to comprise all the situations that break the lives of the consecrated, but we all feel the need to find a well to calm and quench our thirst and the tiredness of the road. Everybody claims, with a silent scream, a well from which they can start over.

The Pontiff also referred to what he called “the tiredness of hope” of certain priests which provoke that they “cannot move forward or look ahead, with everything becoming very confusing.”

Over the last few years, bishops and priests of the Catholic Church have been questioned and have been involved in scandals and even received prison sentences for abusing minors, but this subject was not touched by the Holy Father.

This Saturday, after a short haul for the Casco Antiguo, Pope Francis presided a solemn act to dedicate the Metropolitan Cathedral altar, located in this neighborhood.

After a bow before the table of the Lord, the Supreme Pontiff anointed the altar with the Holy Chrism, the main act of the consecration. Then, at the moment of the special blessing with the miter in place, reflecting honor and hierarchy, he sealed the grace. Although the Metropolitan Cathedral has already been consecrated, the dedication to its altar has been historic. President Juan Carlos Varela, First Lady Lorena Castillo, some government cabinet members, Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa, national and foreign bishops were present at the mass as well as leaders of other religions and special guests.

In the five continents, only a few Catholic sanctuaries have the grace of being consecrated by a pontiff: Our Lady Santa Maria La Antigua Cathedral is one of them. Others are La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and Almudena Cathedral in Madrid.

This is the second time that a Holy Father has visited our metropolitan temple, from which all the Latin America dioceses were born. Also in this, the most important religious building of the capital city, John Paul II met with parishioners, clergy authorities, old  and sick people on March 5, 1983.