maandag, september 05, 2016
"Dear friends, may this celebration, in the presence of the Successor of Peter, be a moment of rededication and renewal for the whole Church in Australia.
"Here I would like to pause to acknowledge the shame which we have all felt as a result of the sexual abuse of minors by some clergy and religious in this country.
"Indeed, I am deeply sorry for the pain and suffering the victims have endured and I assure them that as their pastor I too share in their suffering.
"These misdeeds, which constitute so grave a betrayal of trust, deserve unequivocal condemnation.
"They have caused great pain and have damaged the Church's witness.
"I ask all of you to support and assist your bishops, and to work together with them in combating this evil.
"Victims should receive compassion and care, and those responsible for these evils must be brought to justice.
"It is an urgent priority to promote a safer and more wholesome environment, especially for young people.
"In these days marked by the celebration of World Youth Day, we are reminded of how precious a treasure has been entrusted to us in our young people, and how great a part of the Church's mission in this country has been dedicated to their education and care.
"As the Church in Australia continues, in the spirit of the Gospel, to address effectively this serious pastoral challenge, I join you in praying that this time of purification will bring about healing, reconciliation and ever greater fidelity to the moral demands of the Gospel."
3. It is with profound gratitude that I say goodbye this morning I thank the Federal, State and civic authorities who have so generously assisted me, especially the Prime Minister who has honoured me by his presence and his words. Once again I thank the Catholic bishops, as well as your Government for inviting me to come. I am deeply grateful for all the arrangements that have made my stay among you possible. In particular I am grateful to all those concerned with the security arrangements of my visit. I thank those who provided for my transportation to the various venues and all the people of the communications media who helped give such widespread coverage to each event of the past week which will always remain for me an unforgettable encounter with Australia’s soul. The beautiful ceremonies and the wonderful spirit of collaboration shown by everyone are special memories for me. And to all of you who have worked so hard and have received me with open arms, I express my lasting thanks.
4. I came to Australia to join my brothers and sisters of the Christian faith in celebrating Jesus Christ as the Way, the Truth and the Life. This is the heart of our faith. This is the basis of our hope. This is the source of our joy.
I also came to speak words of esteem and friendship for all who believe in God, and for all men and women of good will. My message has likewise been a proclamation of human dignity, and an appeal for human solidarity and peace, under the sign of truth and justice, freedom and love.
And all of this, dear people of Australia, is my wish for you today and in the years ahead. Remember always who you are, where you are going and why. Remember how much you have to offer to the world and how much its destiny depends on you. As a nation you are called to greatness, for you are called to love God and serve your fellowman! And now: Advance, Australia Fair!