Bishops from three countries issued letters supporting Pope Francis in late August following fallout from allegations made by a former apostolic nuncio to the US, claiming that the pope and others knew about abuse allegations involving Archbishop Theodore E. McCarrick.
In an introduction to the letter posted on 30th August on the Argentine bishops’ news site, AICA, the episcopal conference said it was a response to “ruthless” attacks against the pontiff.
“We share your pains and hopes,” the body of the letter said, explaining that it was written to express “fraternal and filial” closeness to the pope.
Spain’s episcopal conference issued a statement of its own on 23rd August and posted on its website part of a letter it said was sent to the pope, saying “Holy Father, you are not alone.”
“We ask the Lord to continue supporting you in the daily struggles,” said the letter sent by Cardinal Ricardo Blazquez of Valladolid, president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference on behalf of the country’s bishops.
Cardinal Blazquez said part of announcing the Gospel also means denouncing with courage of what God disapproves. He said it was important to ask with humility for forgiveness of sins by members of the Church, including clergy and the laity.
Peru’s bishops, in a letter dated 29th August, said that “in the face of attempts to destabilise the Church,” they expressed support for the courageous and firm manner the pope has shown in navigating “Christ’s boat,” meaning the Church.
Jesus supports the rock on which he built his Church, the letter said. “We are sure that the Risen Christ…the Church will continue to propel us forward so that without fear and full of hope, we will continue to work with greater energy at the service of the people of God,” it said.