sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

God's Transparency?

I am not Catholic and was not raised Catholic. However through my life, the ugly truth of pedophiles in priestly garb has been an open secret. The same is true of the fact that the Catholic Church's unspoken policy for much of the century has been to hide this inconvenient truth and shield wicked priests. 

By this, I'm not indicting all priests nor am I discounting the good that the Catholic Church has done.

This is what the Pope of Rome had to say on the matter yesterday.
(Fox News) VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis begged forgiveness Monday from the victims of clergy sex abuse as he held his first meeting with several abuse survivors -- but another victim called the gathering nothing more than "a PR event." 
The Vatican quoted Francis as expressing personal "sorrow" in his homily at a private Mass with six victims for the `'sins and grave crimes" of clerical sex abuse against them. 
Francis pledged `'not to tolerate harm done to a minor by any individual, whether a cleric or not," and promised that bishops `'will be held accountable." 
"I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves," the pope said. 
"This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk," the pope said, according to the English translation of his homily, which was delivered in Spanish. 
Francis noted the abuse caused some victims to resort to addictions, or even suicide. 
"These deaths of these so beloved children of God weigh upon the heart and my conscience and that of the whole church," he said.
 My question to you, dear readers is whether you feel that the Pope is committed to transparency and accountability or do you think that he simply hosted a public relations event?

16 comments:

  1. I think he's being honest . . . and very naive. The acts these priests committed are so heinous it is beyond the ability of folks to "forgive" them. This issue will never go away, regardless of what any Pope does or what punishment is given.

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    1. The acts themselves are abominations, and the restitution that must be made to children is impossible to manage. It's not about paying money and it's well beyond paying with blood. I completely agree with you.

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  2. How far back in church history does it go, this rape of little children?

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    1. I don't know. But if the Pope and his church want to regain credibility, they have to come up with something more convincing than "I'm sorry". Maybe a purge of homosexual priests would be a good starting point?

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  3. He will try and I hope has some measure of success. It is the every person that does nothing to stop this at a local level that frustrates. I do not understand how someone could not or would not standup & protect their little ones from this.

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    1. In the past, the Catholic Church frustrated the efforts of law enforcement through denying jurisdictional reach. For example: A priest in Guatemala is found to be a pederast - and is transferred to Nigeria, where he continues his behavior - and escapes a lynching by being transferred to a flyspeck on the map like the Holy Cross Church in Arbuckle, California...

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    2. I honestly don't know how the LEO jurisdiction thing works. I have seen what informing or leaking to the elders of a community that this is happening can do.
      Only been inside HCC in flyspeck once, went elsewhere after that.

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    3. All I'm suggesting is that the Holy Catholic Church has taken an active hand magnifying the problem to "Biblical proportions" over a very long time. If that's all come to a close and there is a solid reckoning underway and serious change in behavior - one can only applaud it. You can not serve God and Mammon.

      For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:12.

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  4. I agree with eiaftinfo that the issue will never go away, sadly. Additionally, though, I will add that I like Pope Francis, and his other actions seem to validate my hope that he is committed to being transparent and accountable on this front, as well. ...That said, you know... even if it IS just a PR stunt... Fine. Because it matters to have abuse acknowledged and admitted, and for SOMEONE to say "I'm sorry." Not it's not enough, and it doesn't undo the damage, but it does matter. It's worse to leave it ignored, shoved under the rug, or invalidated. So even a PR stunt is a step in the right direction, in my opinion.

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    1. I think that it's a large step in the right direction. The devil, of course, is in the details.

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  5. Pope Francis seems, if nothing else, quite sincere in his station. He's not nearly as politically adept as some of the previous popes in recent memory. Perhaps this isn't so much a statement as a plea to the other clergy to stop the abuse?

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    1. I hope that's the case, but he can wield a heavy axe within his own organization if he's willing to take on the army of pederasts. I think that it's out of control within his own ranks. There aren't many people who join up to be priests. Traditionally many are bog Irish (poor) and come from small towns in Italy - tenth sons. The Church's levies to fill the ranks in those locations are not producing what they once produced.

      A friend of mine (now dead) was a nun, an old nun from a dying order of nuns. She was a dear friend who edited my writing and was one of my most devoted readers. She spoke of the same growth stagnation within the ranks of nuns.

      That being the case, how ardent will the Pope be in removing the unfit from the clergy? I am trying not to be negative here, simply to ask questions in light of the historically awful situation.

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  6. FWIW, I think he's sincere...

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    1. I'm sure that he wants it to stop. Sincere - clearly. Willing to stamp it out, maybe not so much. We'll see.

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  7. As a recovering Catholic (now Baptist) I blame the RCC's pederast predicament on their gradual drift from scripture over the centuries. They have adopted papal decrees as governing the direction of the church instead of simple biblical truth - much the same way as the Pharisees used their "interpretations" of the Old Testament in determining religious laws for the Jews.

    There is nothing in the New Testament that establishes a priesthood of any kind. There is nothing in the New Testament that mandates celibacy for a minister.

    Unfortunately the Catholic priesthood was targeted by liberals who wished to degrade the profession of faith. It has become a haven for perverts and communists and has also undermined public trust, not only for sincere Catholics, but for all people who call themselves Christians.

    I believe that Pope Francis is sincere, but he has a major work ahead of him if he is to remove this awful stain on the Catholic Church. I do not believe he will succeed for it will require a major refocus and redirection from the Vatican and that is not about to happen..

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