Los Angeles Archbishop José H. Gomez urged the faithful to turn to the Blessed Virgin Mary to “purify the Church” amid recent revelations of sexual abuse and cover-up in the Catholic Church during a Mass celebrating the Solemnity of the Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary.

“This is a time now for prayer and repentance and a time for examining our conscience, especially for those of us who are bishops and priests,” he said in his homily Wednesday afternoon at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels.

“As we gather to pray today, we are aware that this is a sad and confusing time for the Church in this country. In recent days and weeks, we have heard new revelations about sin and abuse in the Church.

“All of us need to pray for every person who has been hurt by the Church, and we need to work to help them heal,” said the archbishop.

“Let us ask the intercession of our Blessed Mother Mary, the Mother of the Church,” he continued. “May she help us to have the courage we need to purify the Church and renew our love for holiness and our devotion to Jesus Christ and his Gospel.”  

The Mass also marked the 40thanniversary of Archbishop Gomez’s ordination to the priesthood. Joining him at the Mass was Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne, Archbishop of Lima, Peru and a longtime friend of the archbishop.

“To be a priest is, for me, my greatest joy,” said Archbishop Gomez later in his homily. “I thank God and I thank our Blessed Mother every day for the great privilege and the gift of my vocation.”

At the end of the Mass, Vicar General for the Archdiocese Msgr. Albert Bahhuth presented the archbishop with a stack of written notes and prayers for his ministry from Archdiocesan staff. 

For more information on the Archdiocese’s policies and protocols concerning abuse prevention and the protection of children and young people, visit www.la-archdiocese.org/org/protecting/Pages/default.aspx.