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Nordic countries: Bishops’ Conference, solidarity with the Pope. “Abuses and internal conflicts obscure the face of the Church”

The Bishops of the Nordic States, who are gathered in Szczecin, Poland, for the plenary meeting of the Bishops’ Conference, which started on 5 September, have addressed a letter to the faithful of their countries with reference to Pope Francis’ letter to the people of God dated 20 August. “Sexual abuses, abuse of power and internal conflicts at the highest levels obscure the face of the whole Church, the bride of the Holy Spirit”, the letter reads. “The Holy Father himself has recently been attacked in an unprecedented way”, the Bishops wrote, calling on “all our faithful to pray for the Church and for the Holy Father”, that he may have “the gift of spiritual discernment, courage, and strength to guide the Church at this time”. The seven bishops thanked “all the priests and men and women religious who live their vocation with full dedication” and prayer, “may they be faithful in their service”. The Bishops invited all believers to a Day of Fasting on Friday, 5 October, and to a Day of Prayer for the Church and for the intentions of the Holy Father on Sunday 7 October, the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. “May fasting and prayer”, the Bishops concluded in their letter, “make us sensitive to the suffering and injustice of this world and awake our hunger and thirst for justice”. The Bishops’ plenary in Szczecin will continue until 10 September.

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