Antilles Episcopal Conference (AEC) President Bishop Gabriel Malzaire has recognised an “orchestrated”’ effort to place a burden of responsibility and even guilt for the sins and crimes of others on Pope Francis.
The bishop of Roseau, Dominica, in a ‘Letter of Solidarity to the Holy Father’ dated October 18 addressed the unfolding of the “increasingly painful” stories of sexual abuse by clergy which he said, has left most of them saddened and ashamed.
“We have heard your own anguish as you have dealt firmly and wisely with the unfolding tragedy,” the letter said.
Bishop Malzaire believed that “common sense” and an understanding of the time frames involved in these events indicate that these insinuations must flow from motives other than truth and the welfare of the Church.
He affirmed that the Bishops of the Antilles extend their fraternal solidarity and prayerful support to the Pope as he guides the barque (ship) of Peter in these stormy and treacherous waters.
“We affirm our ever-grateful confidence in your ministry and leadership at this time. We will do whatever we can to ensure that the faithful in our care walk in the truth. They will continue to support you with their prayers.”