Religion News Service
September 26, 2018
By Yonat Shimron and Jack Jenkins
In the end, it didn’t matter much what the bishop said during the Mass of Reparation and Prayer for Healing for victims of the sex abuse scandal.
His gesture said it all.
Standing in front of the altar Tuesday (Sept. 25) in Raleigh’s Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, Bishop Luis Rafael Zarama took his violet zucchetto from his head and fell to his knees.
“I’d like all you who have been abused, who have been victims of this horrible crime, in the name of the church, I ask for forgiveness,” he said.
For the next 20 minutes, as he delivered his homily without notes in his heavily accented English — he is Colombian — Zarama was on his knees.
The Mass was one of many such healing services specifically tailored to address the clergy sex abuse crisis, which got new life last month after the Pennsylvania attorney general released the report on a two-year grand jury investigation into widespread sexual abuse and cover-up within six Catholic dioceses across that state.
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