Wednesday, September 5, 2018

"What’s the worst part of Pope Francis’ response to the exposure of clerical sex abuse and cover-ups?"

That's the question John Zmirak asks, and answers, at Rorate Caeli.

"The Innocence of Serpents": Francis' Silence is not Jesus' Silence

What’s the worst part of Pope Francis’ response to the exposure of clerical sex abuse and cover-ups?

You might say, “Where to begin?” and point to a dozen different facets of the corruption of the priesthood by our bishops.
The list of scandals against supernatural faith and natural justicecould fill up thousands of words. Others such as Paul Rahe and Benjamin Wiker have done yeoman’s work unpacking it all. I don’t need to add very much. Let me just mention one point which offends me to the core.
Not just as a Catholic. Or even as a Christian. If I were a mere agnostic, it still would turn my stomach.
And that’s the claim made by Pope Francis’ defenders that in refusing to answer Abp. Vigano’s charges, the pope is acting like Jesus, when He was hauled up before Herod:
And Herod, seeing Jesus, was very glad; for he was desirous of a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things of Him; and he hoped to see some sign wrought by Him. And he questioned Him in many words. But He answered him nothing. (Luke 23: 8-9)
Quite a potent tactic. It’s a way of painting stonewalling as an imitation of Christ. Father Marcial Maciel used this stratagem, and for a long while it worked. As one accuser came forth after another, he smothered their claims in silence. That gave his monied cronies and guilty enablers a high-minded pretext to hide behind, as many did, for years.

In fact, it’s the starkest blasphemy.
Even fair-minded unbelievers ought to be outraged, if they see Jesus for what He was: an innocent man, hunted to His death by political enemies. To seize on Jesus’ innocence, and His dignified refusal to answer the corrupt tyrant Herod, who would have set Him free in return for some petty miracle … and weaponize it on behalf of a ruler’s arrogant silence…. That is repulsive, on a purely human level. It’s like smooshing together Anne Frank and Josef Goebbels as “casualties of the Second World War.”
Too much you say? Isn’t it equally possible that Pope Francis indeed is innocent, at least of the charge that he knew about and repealed Benedict’s (feeble) sanctions against McCarrick? And did so in return for McCarrick’s support at the Conclave?
We may never know. The documents which prove Vigano’s testimony are under the pope’s control. Unless he’s already ordered that they be shredded, they sit in archives in Rome and in Washington, D.C. at the nunciature. Journalists should be demanding them.

A U.S. attorney ought to subpoena these files, to see if U.S. bishops violated RICO laws by shuffling sex abusers. The Church ought to have to hand them over, waiving its frail diplomatic immunity as the price of ongoing relations with the United States of America. I don’t know if that will happen. My colleague Austin Ruse has called on President Trump to demand it. All that is politics. Who knows how it will play out?

But we do know the following facts.
The pope lives in a house (Casa Santa Marta) managed by a priest who consorted with male prostitutes. Francis was backed for the papacy by molester Cardinal McCarrick and coverup artist-cardinals Danneels and Wuerl. He plucked Danneels from disgrace under Benedict XVI, inviting Danneels to join him when he first addressed Roman crowds, and asking him to speak (at the Synod on the Family) to the bishops of the world. Pope Francis has previously lifted penalties on at least one powerful molester in the mold of McCarrick.

Francis defied cries of victims, and elevated a bishop in Chile who’d actively covered for a molester. When the pope’s mockery of the victims blew up in the press, he blamed the local bishops and called one victim to Rome. Then he told the young man that God (not the priest who molested him) had “made him gay.”
Think of all this. Think then of Father Maciel.
And think of the innocence of Jesus

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