This is from CM:
Pope Francis was visited by George Weigel last week, so it is no surpise that his statements yesterday on the abuse crisis mimick Weigel’s ideological views of the crisis: holiness is what was lacking; abuse is greater among the laity; we are getting blamed unjustly for a common problem; Benedict was at the forefront of the reform.
You, Leon, and so many other reformers have rebutted these false notions with hard facts, which continue to get pushed under the tide of high rhetoric.
Yes, there are slightly more pedophiles among laity than priests but pederasty (abuse of adolescent boys) by priests, which is the main problem, has been at a rate Sipe proved to be between 9% and up to 40% in some urban settings.
Sadly, Pope Benedict only acted under pressure, and after years of knowing the truth, and allowing, for example, Maciel to continue to abuse. I believe his brave stepping aside was in recognition of his failure and the moral impossibility of his leading any reform. It is example all must follow who betrayed children. It will be Francis’ fate if he does not act decisively.
Yes, holiness was lacking. But the kind of “holiness” which insists on couping men up together for years in seminary, without possibility of marriage, leads to situational homophilia with lifelong tendencies to be attracted to boys, if ex-Legionnaires’ accounts can be believed.
The Church has not been singled out. With over 4,000 creditable accused pederast priests in the US alone, the enormity of the diabolical infestation is almost unimaginable. In addition, known pederast cardinals and bishops remain in power, and are well known by the pope. His failure to remove them is aiding and abetting their continued abuse of children. If he thinks telling them to stop is sufficient, he should consult his chief demonologists.
The Pope struggles to appoint his abuse commission because, I believe, he realizes the clerical experts who now claim to be architects of reform were themselves minions in the original cover-up.
The crisis is far from over. Sick priests are still permitted to remain priests under insufficent supervision. Child protection measures being foisted on bishops conferences worldwide are a smoke screen to avoid addressing this horror.
True experts need to be consulted if the pope has any chance of coming out of the brainwashing that has deeply affected Church leadership on the topic. Leaders such as you, Leon, and Richard Sipe, and Jason Barry. The Pope should hold a private summit with reformer experts to educate himself first, including the real anatomy of the ring of abusers and abettors that exists under his nose, and continue to advise him.
Most importantly, he must establish a truth and justice commission, trying in court any bishop who moved priests around and through whose actions children continued and continue to be molested.
The Pope bemoans the lack of generative bishops. No honest priest will step forward to be bishop to support the continued practices they know will burden them with living a lie. There is no generativity possible without placing the protection of children before everything else. If that means most of the bishops in the Church must step down, then so be it. God will raise up 7000 more. The Church was reduced to a handful of clerics during times of heresy. This is the heresies of gnosticism, Jansenism and angelism writ large. Cleansing the house of the Lord must be complete now, or the enemies of the Church will do it later with violence. I believe the persecution of Christians has so increased because of contempt issuing from a crisis clearly not addressed.
The Pope must learn what he does not know. If not, his papacy will be for naught.
Weigel has not uttered the three words that, I am told, women love to hear: I was wrong.
Benedict did more than any pope in centuries to deal with abuse, but it was not enough.
Francis is a fixer. Whenever a parish or diocese experience a disaster, a fixer is sent in, as O’Malley was to Boston. Francis is the papal fixer. He is changing the subject from sexual abuse by his charm, hominess, and willingness to let people indulge their minor vices without a censoring voice from the clergy.
A fixer differs from a reformer in that a fixer does not address the roots; he is not radical. He merely papers over the problem, merely puts a poultice on the cancer.
Karadima is a terribly abusive priest in Chile. The archbishop of Santiago told him to stop saying mass in Public. Karadima ignored the order, and photos of him saying mass were tweeted to tens of thousands of people.
A prominent Chilean priest who was ordered by the Vatican to never again celebrate a public Mass as punishment for sexually abusing altar boys has been photographed apparently defying the order.
Chile’s top church leaders confirmed the Rev. Fernando Karadima’s act of insubordination Friday and sent the case to the Vatican for investigation. The photos were taken Dec. 4, but they were only released this week by Juan Carlos Cruz, a journalist and one of Karadima’s victims.
“It’s a very painful situation that shows that this priest continues to do as he pleases,” Cruz told The Associated Press. “It’s a slap in the face for the victims of his abuse. He should be in jail but instead he’s still being protected by the church.”
The Roman Catholic Church retains a firm grip on Chilean society, although in recent years its influence has waned after scandals in which priests have been accused of molesting children. Victims say Karadima began abusing them at his residence at the Sacred Heart of Jesus church in Santiago about 20 years ago, when they were between 14 and 17 years old.
The Vatican sanctioned Karadima by ordering him to a life of “penitence and prayer” in 2011. He was also barred from celebrating Mass in public, from hearing confessions or offering spiritual direction and from having contact with his ex-parishioners. A Chilean judge later dismissed a criminal case because the statute of limitations had expired, but she determined the abuse allegations were truthful.
The timing of the photos’ release appeared aimed at embarrassing both the current and former archbishops of Santiago, who were in Rome for Saturday’s ceremony to name current Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello a cardinal.
The victims in Chile say the retired archbishop, Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz, failed to act on accusations that they were abused by Karadima, who was long one of the country’s most popular priests. They say the cardinal declined to even meet them.
Pope Francis’s response: he made Archbishop Ricardo Ezzati Andrello a cardinal. This sends a clear message. The Vatican does not care how a bishop handles sexual abuse cases.
Francis has not appointed the sexual abuse commission he promised. I will be flabbergasted if he appoints anyone like Tom Doyle or Richard Sipe, someone who knows the problem from the inside. The Voice of the Faithful here in Naples asked me to go to Boston to speak to O’Malley about Southwest Florida’s being a dumping ground for abusive priests (El Paso has a similar problem). I had to inform them that the mere mention of my name had reduced a cardinal to screaming fits (I guess I should be flattered). I was blackballed by my pastor from the Knights of Malta because I criticized bishops.
The caliber of members of review boards has declined, because bishops want only those who will say that everything is OK, that a bishop never makes a mistake.
The Roman Catholic Church claims that outside the church there is no salvation and that apostasy leads to eternal damnation. It encourages its members to confide their deepest secrets and inmost sins to a priest. It therefore has a far stronger obligation than any other organization or church to ensure that its clergy are of sterling character. After Augustine approved of the civil measures to force Donatists to become Catholics, he also insisted that Catholic clergy give the highest example of probity and that corrupt priests be disciplined and removed from the clergy.
But little or nothing will be done unless there is a crisis as serious as the Reformation, and even then reform was only partly implemented. Bishops have allowed priests with criminal convictions for abuse to serve in ministry, and are still trying to hide abusers. The Vatican deeply does not care. Only external pressure will force the hierarchy to act, and then they will act only grudgingly and minimally. Francis will canonize John Paul II, who refused to act on abuse and who called the psychopathic incestuous child molester Maciel “an efficacious guide to youth.” Bishops will notice that tolerating child molestation does not prevent canonization, so it can’t be all that serious a matter.