MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - For the Twin Cities Catholic community, this Easter Sunday wasn’t just about the resurrection of Jesus. The appointing of a new leader signifies hope and opportunity for the future of the archdiocese.
Archbishop Bernard Hebda presided over Easter services Sunday at the Basilica. His message was one of forgiveness and re-birth. And with bankruptcy proceedings underway and lawsuits claiming sexual abuse, it's been a rough couple of years for the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis.
“Even though we were sinners, even though we were lost, even though we were fallen, Our God loves us so much that he wants us to share in the inheritance of his son."
Though with the thousands of Minnesotans who attended Easter services, there were many who stayed home – too skeptical of the financial turmoil and too hurt from the sexual abuse scandal.
"Little or few of them have little trust in this archbishop or any of the hierarchies because they're been betrayed for so long,” attorney Jeff Anderson said.
Anderson represents a number of Minnesotans who claim they were sexually abused by church leaders. He says with a new archbishop comes an opportunity for change.
"If they are willing to respond, instead of fight back, deny and minimize, there can be a tremendous opportunity for transformation, reformation and a model for others to follow,” Anderson said.
For Catholics leaving mass on Sunday, their expectations for Archbishop Hebda were simple.
"More openness, more honesty… That's all we ask,” Mark Bohlke said.
Even the faithful say the new leader needs to address the sex abuse scandal and pending lawsuits. “I don't know how he can't address it so that needs to be addressed further and hopefully some healing will take place,” Bolke said.