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Mass of reparation for sins of sexual abuse Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Sep. 20, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
mass of reparation
Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison kneels in prayer with Fr. Scott Emerson, left, priest secretary and master of ceremonies to the bishop, and Msgr. James Bartylla, right, vicar general for the Diocese of Madison, at the start of Mass on September 14. The Mass at the Bishop O’Donnell Holy Name Oratory at Holy Name Heights in Madison was for the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross and day of reparation for sins of sexual abuse by clergy and the episcopacy. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- “I want to pray today with you for those who have committed terrible sins, sins of sacrilege, sins that cry to heaven for vengeance,” said Bishop Robert C. Morlino of Madison.

His words came during a Mass on September 14 for the Feast of the Exultation of the Holy Cross and day of reparation for sins of sexual abuse by clergy and the episcopacy.

The Mass was held in the Bishop O’Donnell Holy Name Oratory at Holy Name Heights in Madison.

Repentance and reparation

After Bishop Morlino processed into Mass, he knelt before the altar, along with concelebrant Msgr. James Bartylla, vicar general for the diocese; Fr. Scott Emerson, priest secretary and master of ceremonies to the bishop; and Deacon Jim Hoegemeier, who later read the Gospel.

Everyone at the Mass knelt in silent prayer with the bishop.

Following this silent prayer, the bishop acknowledged a similar tone to Good Friday, as he was without his episcopal ring and crosier.

He reminded everyone, along with the repentance and sorrow felt for the actions recently come to light committed by priests and bishops, to acknowledge “our sins, not someone else’s.”

The Cross and healing

During his homily, Bishop Morlino, referenced the Gospel reading — “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him (John 3:17)” and said, “The very sight of the Cross brings healing.”

The bishop said that when sin, what put Christ on the Cross, is not accepted as real, “everything is taken for granted, everything gets a wink and a nod. We create that atmosphere in the Church. And, then are we surprised that enormous evils, sacrilegious evils rear their ugly heads because we have created a fertile field for that to happen by our indifference to sin, especially to our own sin.”

He added that, “reparation, penance, that’s what all of this means . . . no more bashfulness about sin, no more taking sin for granted, hatred of sin, fear of the Lord.”

Prayers for victims

Toward the end of the Mass, the bishop again knelt before the altar and prayed for all those wounded by the sins of sexual abuse in the Church.

He prayed, “United as we now are in communion with Christ the victim and our priest, let us take a moment to offer prayers for those who have been wounded by the sins of priests and bishops. In a particular way, let’s offer our communion for those who have left their loving home in the Church due to the abuse of Her ministers.”

This was followed by praying of an “Our Father,” “Hail Mary”, and “Glory Be,” and prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, along with a plea to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to “have mercy on us.”

In a letter to the people of the Diocese of Madison issued on August 18, Bishop Morlino called for Masses of reparation to be held throughout the diocese on September 14.

He also asked for observing the Autumn Ember Days (September 19, 21, and 22) as days of fasting and abstinence in reparation for the sins of sexual abuse.

 
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