July 1, 2014. The Council of Cardinals began their fifth meeting with the Pope at the Vatican. Starting today at Casa Santa Marta, it will end on Friday, July 4. The previous meetings were from 1 to 3 October 2013, 3 -5 December 2013, from 17 to 19 February 2014 and 28 to 30 April 2014.
How are you? Everything is well. Thank you.
The Pope asked bishops to be closer to victims of sexual abuse. He made the remarks to bishops from the Netherlands during their "ad limina” visit.
"A gift, Holy Father. It's the feast of St. Nicholas in the Netherlands.”
Pope Francis told the bishops that it's "essential” that they be close to their priests to "support and guide them,” he noted, even if they don't ask for help, since "some of them, unfortunately, failed to fulfill their commitments.”
The Pope then added that: "Very particularly, I would like to express my compassion and assure my prayers to each of the victims of sexual abuse, and their families. I ask you to continue to support the painful path of healing they have started, with courage.”
He also urged bishops to be present in "public debates” within this highly secularized country. The Pope also asked them to encourage Catholics to speak out their minds on issues pertaining to the family, marriage, and death. The Church, he said, "grows not because of proselytism, but by attraction.”