Pope in Fatima recalls John Paul shooting – Yahoo! News


Pope: Church’s own sins to blame in sex scandal

FATIMA, Portugal – Pope Benedict XVI traveled to the famous shrine of Fatima on Wednesday, recalling the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II and other “sufferings” of the church, which he has said included the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Benedict didn’t refer directly to the crisis a day after issuing his most explicit admission of the church’s own guilt. But he did remind priests and seminarians gathered at a vespers service that they must remain loyal to their vocation and help one another when “there is a certain weakening of priestly ideals.”

He thanked them for their dedication — “often silent and certainly not easy” — and urged them to seek out new recruits for the priesthood….

“In terms of what we today can discover in this message, attacks against the pope or the church don’t come just from outside the church,” he told reporters. “The suffering of the church also comes from within the church, because sin exists in the church. This, too, has always been known, but today we see it in a really TERRIFYING way.”


Many of the pilgrims attending Wednesday’s service walked for days to reach Fatima, with some making the final marble stretch of several hundred meters (yards) up to the chapel on their knees in prayer. Many said Benedict’s visit gave them hope, particularly as Portugal — western Europe’s poorest country — confronts Europe’s economic crisis.

“The pope can inspire people to respect things like charity and loving thy neighbor and not being selfish,” said Miguel Ferreira, a 39-year-old businessman who said he walked for days to Fatima.

But he added: “The pope can only do so much. He can’t hike pay.”

Dozens of shops around the shrine selling religious-themed trinkets also offer imitation body parts in wax, such as limbs, hearts and ears, which the faithful cast into flames by the Chapel of the Apparitions with a prayer asking for the healing of their ailments.

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