President of U.S. Bishops’ Conference Response to Pope Francis’s Letter to the People of God

August 22, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Cardinal Daniel N.DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the UnitedStates Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), has issued the followingstatement in response to Pope Francis's Letter to the People of God, issuedearlier today. In his letter addressed to the whole People of God, the Popecalls on the Church to join in acts of prayer and fasting in "combatting allforms of abuse of power, sexual abuse and the abuse of conscience."

Cardinal DiNardo's full statementfollows:

"I am grateful to the Holy Fatherfor his Letter to the People of God,responding to the Pennsylvania Grand Jury investigation and other revelationsthat have surfaced. The very fact thathe opens the letter with the words of Saint Paul: 'If one part suffers, all partssuffer with it' (1 Cor 12:25), shows that he is writing to all of us as apastor, a pastor who knows how deeply sin destroys lives. I find these words ofthe Holy Father particularly helpful: 'penance and prayer will help us to openour eyes and our hearts to other people's sufferings and to overcome the thirstfor power and possessions that are so often the root of those evils.' These words must provoke action – especiallyby the bishops. We bishops need to– and wemust – practice with all humility such prayer and penance.

"The Holy Father is also inviting,and I am asking this as well, that all the faithful join in prayer and fasting as a way to helpfoster conversion and genuine change of life wherever it is needed, even in theshepherds of the Church. Jesus remarkedonce, 'This kind can only come out through prayer and fasting' (Mark 9:29); a humblereminder that such acts of faith can move mountains and can even bring abouttrue healing and conversion.

"On behalf of my brother bishops,I offer that only by confronting our own failure in the face of crimes againstthose we are charged to protect can the Church resurrect a culture of lifewhere the culture of death has prevailed."

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Keywords: United StatesConference of Catholic Bishops, USCCB, Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, PopeFrancis, Letter to the People of God, PennsylvaniaGrand Jury investigation, bishops, prayer, fasting, healing, conversion,culture of life, humility, penance.

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