Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Pope Francis must clearly and forthrightly address this

In a piece at First Things entitled "Why Francis Must Speak," Gerald E. Murray lays out what's at stake:

How is it possible for Catholics to trust the supreme authority of the Church when that authority refuses to answer a fellow bishop's serious charges that the pope himself has done the very thing he previously condemned? How can journalists or anyone else make fully informed conclusions about the truthfulness of what Viganò says when the one man who can affirm or deny those charges refuses to say a word, at least for now? 
Recall what Francis said at Dublin Castle: “The failure of ecclesiastical authorities—bishops, religious superiors, priests and others—adequately to address these repellent crimes has rightly given rise to outrage, and remains a source of pain and shame for the Catholic community. I myself share those sentiments (emphasis added).” 
The stunned outrage occasioned by Viganò’s allegations of papal malfeasance regarding the moral turpitude of ex-Cardinal McCarrick is unprecedented in my lifetime. McCarrick’s gross immorality and abuse of authority is a monumental “source of pain and shame for the Catholic community.” Even more stunning is Viganò’s account that Francis removed the penitential restrictions Benedict placed on McCarrick. Only Francis can explain the truth or falsehood of Viganò’s account. Not to do so is to leave the entire Church, and especially McCarrick's victims, with the impression that it does not matter that he was a predatory sex offender; he’s the pope’s friend, he is unaccountable, nothing and no one else matters.    
One great lesson of this scandal is that inflicting private and unpublicized penalties for grave offenses against chastity on “important” clerics is a huge mistake. When Benedict found McCarrick to be guilty as charged, the rest of the Church should have been told. McCarrick would not then have been able to pretend he was under no censure. Any violation of the terms of his punishment would have been noted by everyone and thus not allowed to happen. Then Cardinal McCarrick would not have been at the 2013 conclave, just as the Scottish Cardinal Keith O’Brien was not present due to his sexual abuse of adult males under his authority. 
Will the Viganò memo meet the same fate as the five Dubia on AmorisLaetitia submitted by Cardinal Burke et al.? For the good of the Church, the faithful must not let that happen. Francis should not be shown the misplaced charity of silence in response to his silence. Recall that Juan Barros would still be the bishop of Osorno, Chile, if the laity in particular had not kept insisting on the need to answer the question, “Why is this underserving man who failed to protect victims of sexual abuse by an important cleric (Fr. Fernando Karadima) still the bishop of a diocese?” This time the question is: “Did Pope Francis ignore and cover up McCarrick’s sexual abuse of seminarians, abuse made possible by McCarrick’s immoral use of his episcopal authority?” If the pope did this, by his own words he indicts himself. That question, prompted by Viganò’s eminently coherent account of his personal interactions with Francis, must be answered. Our pontiff must confirm the brethren in the truth by telling the Church what he knew and did regarding McCarrick. 
John O'Sullivan at National Review looks into what could have motivated Vigano:

Archbishop Viganò is a distinguished churchman. He is at the end of his career. He can have no this-wordly ambition. So what is he doing and why? Others more knowledgeable may offer better explanations, but I can suggest only four: Viganò is lying; he is sincere but mentally ill; he is an innocent manipulated by others; he is telling the truth in whole or in part.
The faithful need to know which explanation is correct. Given what we already know from the McCarrick case and the Pennsylvania grand-jury report, the fourth must be granted a real possibility. If so, it may still be that Viganò’s motives are corrupt — i.e., he wants to topple a liberal Pope. But if his charges are true, they are such a serious matter that his motives are of interest mainly to God. His statement must therefore lead to serious investigations, which, since the allegations involve crimes as well as sins, will inevitably be conducted by secular authorities as well as church ones. 
The Catholic Church serves, to a significant degree, as the lens through which the secularized West views Christianity in general. Dismissing this situation as less important than "climate change" or "protecting migrants" is tantamount to the Church, broadly speaking, saying to the world, "Even we don't take our own doctrine seriously, so don't worry about it. Whatever tattered remnants of what we've always called the Bride of Christ still exist are yours for the picking. You may find among them some useful tools in your social-justice machinations."

That's where the Devil finds his entry point.


  1. You're hinging on the words of a papal representative responding in haste to a secular reporter's question. Of course this "situation" which has been ongoing for over 60 years (most of the PA cases pre-date Francis' installation is not less important than climate change or protecting migrants. Pope Francis did not say this. An aide did. Pope Francis will speak when he has time to reflect at what, if you want to get Satanic about it all, this Judas has thrown at him. I'm not saying this Judas is entirely incorrect, but he's hitting below the belt, though a Pope should be unconcerned about his cajones. Now we're a beacon for Christianity huh? You do realize that there has been allegedly 10,000 cases involving the boy scouts, most of which were sponsored by and met in church halls, Catholic & Protestant alike. It's inexcusable. And no buts, but:

    "In 2001, Dr. James Dobson’s evangelical radio show “Focus on the Family” hosted a discussion about a “crisis” among pastors of evangelical churches. A study had found that 21% of evangelical/protestant pastors had had inappropriate sexual contact with members of their congregations including children and youth. Sixty percent had a problem with pornography." Of course they make no vows of chastity, certainly not poverty....


  2. And they need to do a cleaning as well

  3. We'll have to wait to see what happens. Maybe he will resign and give the church back to the spiteful Virgano, Cardinal Burke and all the other conservatives. Oh happy day, right?

  4. Give the church back to the ones who got their cassocks all in a bunch over vile Satanic stuff like advocating for communion for the divorced/remarried and mercy for gays.

  5. Massimo Faggioli, a theology and religious studies professor at Villanova University, says the charges in Vigano’s letter are motivated by a personal vendetta on behalf of conservative American Catholics. “People are especially upset with the fact that Francis is opening the church on sexuality and homosexuality,” Faggioli tells TIME. “So, here you have a very cynical alliance with a cynical agenda that has nothing to do with the sex abuse crisis.”

  6. What does "mercy for gays" mean?

    And what does "opening the church on sexuality" mean?

  7. Mercy for gays means mercy for gays, you know, the Kyrie Eleison stuff. I dodny use the phrase opening g the church on sexuality so you'll have to ask the author. As I've said many times before all Burke et al had on Francis was certain objections to his encyclical on same where he advocated for communion for the divorced and remarried and his merciful stance towards gays. Of course American political conservatives are outraged on his stance on merciful treatment of immigrants and global warming. It remains to be seen whether Burke et al get the gold again, Maybe they'll have to start their own holy mother the church. So the Pope said nothing in response to his accusers and that's an outrage huh? This reminds me of the Christ he's vicor of.

  8. You’re right about conservatives’ position on Francis’s position on “immigrants” (actually meaning illegal immigrants and you damn well know it) and “global warming.” For one thing, that’s way beyond what he’s qualified to speak for the church on.

  9. For another thing, on “global warming,” he is as mistaken as one can be, and the essential question is, is he just misguided, or is he so deep into the liberation theology thing that for him it’s part of that hard-left agenda?