Video available on the attached blog.
A German bishop publicly prostrates in Mass for crimes against children. It might not mean much to any of the victim's of clergy in the Catholic Church, but public prayer and penance is certainly a start for trying to change the face of things recently past.
Here is the beginning of the bishop's sermon translated into English:http://taquoriaan.com/2010/11/30/4514/
Penance Service with Confession on 28 November 2010 (First Sunday of Advent) in the Hohe Dom in Osnabrück.
Sermon by Bishop Dr. Franz-Josef Bode.
A reading from the Book of Ezra (Ezra 9, 5-8 RSV-CE)
And at the evening sacrifice I rose from my fasting, with my garments and my mantle rent, and fell upon my knees and spread out my hands to the Lord my God, saying:
"O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to thee, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt; and for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been given into the hands of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as at this day. But now for a brief moment favour has been shown by the Lord our God, to leave us a remnant, and to give us a secure hold within his holy place, that our God may brighten our eyes and grant us a little reviving in our bondage.
"Here we are, Lord, Holy Spirit. / Here we are, burdened with sin, / but gathered here solely in Your name. / Come in our midst, / be with us, / pour yourself in our hearts!" This is how the Church prays at the beginning of a council or gathering, according to a tradition that's over a thousand years old. Today, we can also pray in this way in these turbulent times, because we are entering after a devastating year a new liturgical year.
Ezra's words are even older, which we can, we even have to internalize the "I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to thee, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads"
Yes, these strong words are fitting this evening. We cannot go on the road to Christmas without taking anything with us what we learned in the past months: