• RSS Queering the Church

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS Spirit of a Liberal

    • Ten Questions for Trump Supporters May 6, 2019
      If you’re a Trump supporter, here’s a quiz for you in the quiet of your own thoughts. Don’t be defensive; dare to think long and hard and ponder the questions seriously. 1)  Why did Russia want Trump to win? 2)  Why do black voters overwhelmingly disapprove of Trump? Hispanics? LGBTQ? Women? 3)  Why does Trump […] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my […]
      Obie Holmen
    • Ancient History Made Contemporary and Compelling May 4, 2019
      Colleen Kwong is a pastor and an artist (potter). We began bumping into each other and exchanging our work a few years ago at church conventions. My fingers trace her clay labyrinth that sits on my desk. I sent her a proof copy of Wormwood and Gall, and she soon replied that she “devoured” it […] [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full l […]
      Obie Holmen
  • RSS There Will be Bread

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS The Wild Reed

    • Recognising and Honoring Australia's First Naturalists May 24, 2019
      (Part 8 of Australian Sojourn – April-May 2019)NOTE: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are advised that this post contains images and names of people who are now deceased.While recently perusing Port Macquarie's one and only bookstore, I came across a title that instantly caught my attention: Australia's First Naturalists: Indigenou […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
    • Jojo Zaho: “Let Your Faboriginality Shine Through” May 22, 2019
      (Part 7 of Australian Sojourn – April-May 2019)One rainy Saturday afternoon a couple of weeks ago I drove down to Guruk's Shelly Beach to watch the ocean waves. On the way I stopped and bought a copy of The Sydney Morning Herald and a packet of the iconic Australian snack, Twisties (cheese-flavored, of course!).After spending time listening to Enya […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Michael J. Bayly)
  • RSS Bilgrimage

  • RSS Enlightened Catholicism

  • RSS Far From Rome

    • the way ahead March 23, 2013
      My current blog is called the way ahead.
      noreply@blogger.com (PrickliestPear)
  • RSS The Gay Mystic

    • In The Closet of the Vatican: New Investigative Study February 22, 2019
      In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy - just published today, February 22nd, 2019.Thanks to Kittredge Cheery of the wonderful gay Christian blog,  QSpirit Blog, for the heads up about the publication of this major new investigative study into the secret homosexual double lives of many priests (and bishops and cardinals) in the vatican […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
    • Wanderer by Sarah Leon: Gay Debut Novel of the Year February 11, 2019
      A very young Sarah Leon published this heat-wrenching  love story in French in 2016 when she was barely twenty years old. Three years later we are blessed to have this exquisite English translation of the work  by John Cullen, a translator of note with many books to his name. It is one of the most affecting love stories you will ever read.Wanderer has alread […]
      noreply@blogger.com (Richard Demma)
  • RSS The Jesus Manifesto

    • Another World is Neccessary: Anarchism, Christianity and the Race from the White House July 30, 2008
      I’ll be presenting at the upcoming Jesus Radicals conference in Columbus, Ohio. My session (on the relationship between Church and State) will be on Friday afternoon. If you’re in the area, drop by. I’d love to meet some of the folks who frequent this site. Here’s the info: August 15-16, 2008 St. John’s Episcopal 1003 W Town Columbus, OH [...]ShareThis […]
      Mark Van Steenwyk
  • RSS John McNeill: Spiritual Transformations

  • RSS Perspective

    • WP interview with Pete Buttigieg May 23, 2019
      He's asked about a lot of issues, and I have to say I agree with pretty much all of his opinions. Enjoy ...
      noreply@blogger.com (crystal)
  • Advertisements

Pope’s Claim, “I Normally Meet Sex Abuse Victims,” is Contradicted by Lack of Action

Pope Francis has a history of dishonesty and hypocrisy on the subject of clerical sex abuse. Survivors of sex abuse, and those who “normally” meet with them, know there are a number of actions the pope can take immediately to protect children, but he refuses to do so.

“On Fridays – sometimes this is known and sometimes it is not known – I normally meet some of them [sex abuse victims],” the pope said. He had “approved for publication” this and other statements he made last month.

“The percentage of pedophiles who are Catholic priests does not reach 2 percent, it’s 1.6 percent. It is not that much,” the pope also told his listeners.

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse recently released their findings that “7 percent of Catholic priests had been accused of abusing children from 1950 to 2010. In some Catholic religious orders the figures were much higher: 40 per cent for the St John of God Brothers and 22 per cent for the Christian Brothers …. Even the Church acknowledges these figures are an understatement because many victims have never come forward and never will.”

A report by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, “The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States,” was based solely on information provided by the bishops. It stated that “between 1960 and 2002 … the total of surveys for priests and deacons with allegations of child sexual abuse … resulted in a percentage slightly more than 4%.”

There have been no other thorough studies regarding the percentage of pedophile priests.

Vatican spokesman and former Fox News correspondent, Greg Burke, confirmed on Feb. 15 that the pope does meets with abuse victims “several times a month” in order to listen to them “and to try to help them heal the grave wounds caused by abuse. Burke said the meetings are held ‘under the strictest privacy’ out of respect for the victims’ suffering.”

A History of Dishonesty and Hypocrisy

In the 2010 book, On Heaven and Earth, co-authored by Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Pope Francis wrote, “In my diocese [child sex abuse by priests] never happened to me, but a bishop called me once by phone to ask me what to do in a situation like this.”

“There is evidence that Bergoglio knowingly or unwittingly slowed victims in their fight to expose and prosecute their assailants” in at least five cases. “Victims of four offenders say that they sought the cardinal’s help. None of them received it.” According to Bergoglio’s former spokesman, the cardinal “declined to meet with any victims,” reported BishopAccountability.org which keeps a large online archive of documents, reports, and news articles documenting the global abuse crisis in the Catholic Church.

In July 2014, Pope Francis made a vow to hold bishops accountable for preventing sexual abuse by clergy. He said, “All bishops must carry out their pastoral ministry with the utmost care in order to help foster the protection of minors, and they will be held accountable.” He has failed to do so.

Also in 2014, Pope Francis stated that the Vatican should only be responsible “for the 31 children resident in the Vatican City, despite the fact that within those 44 hectares, the Holy See decides whether thousands of clerics from all over the world should continue as priests after the church had found them guilty of sexually abusing children.”

In 2015, Pope Francis announced he was establishing a tribunal, described as “unprecedented,” to investigate bishops “accused of covering up sexual abuse of minors or of failing to protect children from pedophile priests.” It never happened.

In his first and only meeting with the members of his sex abuse commission in September 2017, “Pope Francis repeated his assurance that the Church would ‘respond with the application of the firmest measures.’”

By then, we knew that the pope had been personally informed about six sexual predators and did nothing to stop them, until forced to do so. Since then, it has been revealed that there has been  two more occasions when the pope was informed of sexual abuse and took no action to prevent further assaults.

In October 2017, “Pope Francis told executives of leading internet companies to use ‘their great profits’ to defend children from sexual exploitation and other dangers lurking online.” The Vatican was holding a conference called “Child Dignity in the Digital World.”

Two months earlier, “Vatican diplomat, Msgr. Carlo Capella, is the subject of an international child pornography investigation, yet he is being harbored by the Vatican while the conference about child abuse images/child pornography and related problems proceeds,” noted Terence McKiernan, president of BishopAccountability.org

“The case of Msgr. Carlo Capella is by no means unique. Many priests have been convicted of possessing and trading in child abuse images, and many clerical abusers have photographed their victims, partly to memorialize the abuse and share it – even profit from it – and partly to menace their victims. The recent child pornography cases of Archbishop Józef Wesołowski, Bishop Raymond J. Lahey, and Bishop Robert W. Finn’s handling of Father Shawn F. Ratigan, all show that the Catholic Church has ongoing and serious problems with the digitally enabled abuse of children …. Much better if the conference had been devoted to examining honestly the Catholic Church’s own tragic experience with child abuse images and the digital harming of children,” McKiernan noted.

Bishop Juan Barros Madrid

The most recent mendacious statements by Pope Francis concern Bishop Juan Barros Madrid. The pope appointed him as bishop of Osorno, Chile, on Jan. 10, 2015. Victims of the sexual predator, Fr. Fernando Karadima, had accused Barros of being present while Karadima abused them and then covering-up for the priest.

Four days before the pope left for Chile last month, the Associated Press released a letter written by the pope on Jan. 31, 2015, to the Chilean bishops and confirmed by them as authentic.

Pope Francis wrote that his nuncio (ambassador) to Chile had asked Barros to resign “toward the end of 2014.” A nuncio does not have the authority to ask for a bishop’s resignation; this decision can only be made in the Vatican.

“Through the letter [the pope] revealed that he knew about the controversy generated around Barros and that the nuncio in Chile tried to find a way to contain the damage [by suggesting as an alternative that Barrow take a year’s sabbatical] before the case came to light in 2015,” noted the Chilean news site, El Mostrador.

“- On March 21, 2015 Barros made his official entrance into the diocese of Osorno, amid a hurricane of protests.
– Ten days later, on March 31, a statement from the deputy director of the Vatican press office declared that ‘prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment.’
Which does not explain why, until the very end of 2014, the Holy See would opt for the resignation of Barros,” wrote the experienced Vatican reporter, Sandro Magister.

Also, the January 2015 letter “is opposed to the statements that the pope delivered in [May] 2015, where he publicly defended Barros and even went so far as to say that the inhabitants of Osorno suffered from ‘fools’ and that they allowed themselves to be manipulated by ‘lefties.’ On that occasion, Bergoglio claimed to be ‘the first to judge and punish someone who has accusations of that kind, but in this case there is no proof, I tell you from my heart.’”

During his trip to Chile, on Jan. 18, a journalist asked Pope Francis about Barros. He replied, “There is not one shred of proof against him. It’s all calumny. Is that clear?” The pope added, “So far I haven’t seen any [proof against Barros] at all.

One victim, Juan Carlos Cruz, replied, “As if one could have taken a selfie or photo while Karadima abused me and others while Barros stood by.”  “Who knows how many victims now will decide to stay hidden for fear they will not be believed?” asked Ann Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org.

During the press conference on the flight back to Rome on Jan. 22, Pope Francis acknowledged he wrote the January 2015 letter. “In the case of Bishop Barros, I had it studied, I had it investigated, I had it worked on a lot. And truly there is no evidence. I use the word evidence.”

Pope Francis continued on the subject of Barros: “I have to ask forgiveness because the word ‘proof’ wounded, it wounded many people who were abused.” However, “[It is] calumny, [if] anyone says with obstinacy, without evidence, that he did this, he did that… it is calumny.”

The pope also claimed, “I have continued with zero tolerance [for clergy who sexually abuse children]. After almost 5 years of being pope, I have not signed any ‘permission of pardon.’”

“Pope Francis’s claim that he has never exercised leniency after a canonical trial and appeal may well be true, but it is not true where he has been requested by the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine to dismiss a priest, and it is not true of the CDF when it exercises its own powers. [In some cases, the pope] has granted leniency by refusing to accept CDF dismissal recommendations for some of the worst offenders, and instead, required them to live a ‘life of prayer and penance’ with restrictions on their public ministry,” noted the civil lawyer and an author on canon law, Kieran Tapsell.

On Feb. 5, it was reported that Pope Francis received an eight-page letter from abuse survivor Juan Carlos Cruz through Cardinal Seán O’Malley in April 2015. The pope said while he was in Chile that he had never heard of any victims’ complaints against Bishop Juan Barros. Anne Barrett Doyle, of BishopAccountability.org “found it either ‘implausible, given the pope’s demonstrated interest in directly managing the scandal around Barros.’ The more likely explanation was that the pope ‘was being deliberately deceptive in Chile … when he said he had seen no evidence of Barros’ complicity.’”

In response to the negative publicity generated by the Barros affair, Pope Francis said he was sending  Archbishop Charles J. Scicluna to meet with Barros’ accusers. Scicluna had won praise for the interviews he did on behalf of the Vatican with the victims of the notorious Mexican pedophile, Fr. Marcial Maciel. “If Scicluna takes the time to interview the men who were children at the time [they were in Karadima’s parish], and if he interviews enough people, he will discover the truth and it will depend on the pope to admit that he was wrong and remove Bishop Barros,” observed the noted author and Vatican expert, Jason Berry.

Yesterday, it was reported that Pope Francis renewed his sex abuse commission which he had allowed to lapse in December.

Actions the pope should take

For sex abuse survivors and those who actually do meet with them on a regular basis, it has been clear since day one of his pontificate what the pope should do to protect children if he really wanted to. These measures have been advocated for well over a decade and should already be known by past and present “experts” on any sex abuse commission:

Release the names of the priests already convicted by the Vatican for sex abuse and order bishops to release the names of their employees found guilty, or would have been were it not for statutes of limitations, of sex abuse. (This and the following only apply in countries where Catholics are not persecuted.)

Order Vatican employees, and bishops and their employees, to notify civil authorities when they receive a credible report of sex abuse.

Order Vatican employees, and bishops and their employees, to fully cooperate with civil authorities prosecuting cases of sex abuse.

Only the pope can remove “culpable Church officials.” Pope Francis has taken no action against any of 17 bishops credibly accused of complicity with abusive priests. A recent investigation in France exposed five additional pedophile-protecting bishops still in office.

Pope Francis has no problem taking action against people for reasons other than sex abuse. He removed Cardinals Gerhard Müller and Raymond Burke from their Vatican positions. He removed Fra’ Matthew Festing as Grand Master of the Knights of Malta, a position equal in status to cardinal in the Catholic Church. He removed the “Bishop of Bling.” He ordered that three priests be fired from the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith without explanation.

The time for Pope Francis to stop talking and take action is long overdue.


10 Responses

  1. The overall estimation is the propaganda is second to none to Goebbels……

  2. When the pope came to Philadelphia neither I nor other VICTIMS who I know were invited, chaput knows very well who I am and who the other VICTIMS are, and by the way did Philadelphia recover the 8 + million dollars it cost when the pope came ? Now who is ” LYING ” the pope and his entourage / chaput / PR guy greg burke or the VICTIMS ?

    • I’m very sorry for your own and other victims’ terrible suffering. Thanks for posting this informative comment and great questions.

  3. BC documents the case against Francis and his unwillingness to resolve the issue of clerical sex abuse now 5 years this March into his reign as Supreme Pontiff with little mercy toward the victims. Francis indulges in promoting mercy, but it is selective. 5 years as pope and the one issue central to his institution – clerics sexual abuse – remains more convoluted.
    Francis has as much moral credibility toward clerical sexual abuse as Donald Trump has with sexual harassment of women.
    Francis chides “executives of leading internet companies to use ‘their great profits’ to defend children from sexual exploitation and other dangers lurking online.”
    A serious complaint of his now suddenly revived commission on sex abuse is woefully underfunding by the Vatican, despite “the great profits” of the Vatican. This needs to be called out as an insidious papal ploy. Shame on Francis and the institutional church.
    “Which of you fathers, if your son asks forf a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?”

  4. None of you here would probably have heard of Chris Wilding.
    Chris was the founder of BrokenRites a victims/survivor support group back in the early 1990’s.
    She is remembered by me for her dogged pursuance of accountablity and justice .
    You either love her or hate her and the Catholic Church here in Australia made it clear where they stood once she had someone in her sights.
    This is what she sent in support to this update I decided to post.

  5. Since you seem to follow these child abuse cover-up stories in the church, I would like your opinion on why none of these men get charged with perjury. The Minnesota case with Nienstedt had many incidents where he and other men of the heirachy testified to one fact under oath yet their own paperwork showed they were lying.
    I guess this is part of some deal worked out with the DA office, but it still leaves me angry that our system in the USA cares so little for children.
    That Minn story was one of the worst, yet who suffered, children and Ms. Haselberger.
    Why am I asking? I live in Baltimore,MD where the church, state and press sometimes share the same bed!

    • I think you answered your own question, Eileen. “The church, state and press sometimes share the same bed!” The U.S. media has mythologized this pope while he and his men fail to address the torture of children by sexual predators confirming how they “care so little for children.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: