Service of Apology

Posted by Censor Librorum on May 7, 2009 | Categories: Accountability, Bishops

“For whatever ways any representative of the church has hurt, offended, dismissed, ignored, any one of you — I ask you, the church asks you, for forgiveness,” Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh said in an April 8, 2009 reflection during a special “service of apology” at St. Paul Cathedral. zubik2

Bishop Zubik apologized for sins, including sexual abuse, committed by clergy and any other representatives of the church and asked for forgiveness.

He noted that many of the several hundred people present had come to the service with “hurts that you hold, perhaps painfully so, in the inner recesses of your hearts.” He said, “You call me, as leader of the church of Pittsburgh, to not only not forget the sins of those who have hurt you, but you charge me with the need to continue the work to secure that the sins not happen again.”

Bishop Zubik said that “while the church is truly divine, fully given its mission as the body of Christ by Jesus himself, we are also a very human church, comprised of people who are human and sinful.”

Read Bishop Zubik’s entire Service of Apology reflection here.

He ended his reflection by quoting a statement Sister Thea Bowman made at a concert for people suffering from AIDS.

“Thea Bowman said: ‘I have come tonight seeking a blessing.   I have come tonight seeking a healing. I don’t usually talk about myself, but tonight I want to tell you a little about me. I have cancer. More important, I have something in common with my brothers and sisters who have AIDS–weight loss, hair loss, loss of voice, weakness, fatigue, exhaustion. I’m here tonight to say, God is! God made me! God loves me. I want to live my best; I want to love my best; I want to do my best; I want to give my best.'” bowman

“Like Sister Thea, I stand before you tonight on behalf of the church seeking your blessing, seeking your forgiveness, seeking a healing so that we as church can live our best, love our best, do our best, give our best.”