Sunday, February 14, 2016

Honeymoon over for #PopeFrancis and #Catholics

Is this the end of the pope's honeymoon period? (Max RossiReuters)
Pope Francis’ honeymoon is over says reporter Will Carless from People all over the world are realizing that much of what Francis says is just more of the same stonewalling and cover up. To update the Feb. 9th post on this blog about Peter Saunders being thrown off the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors we quote Saunders:

“I very quickly realized that I’m surrounded by a group of lovely, kind, caring people whose primary loyalty is to the church,” Saunders said. “When #Jesus walked into the temple 2,000 years ago and found people trading, gambling and up to all sorts of no good, he didn’t form a committee and say ‘let’s discuss this,’ he just picked the bastards up and threw them out.”

And then we have Marie Collins, the other member of the commission who is also an abuse survivor. Collins obviously hasn’t read much #Vatican history: that popes have been convening commissions for hundreds of years with the same results: weak recommendations with no action that would protect children from rapist clergy or help survivors get justice.   

Collins believes that the commission is “working extremely hard on complicated policy changes that, once put into effect, will have a tangible impact on child safety.”  How “extremely hard” would it be for the Pope to open his records of reported rapist priests and their locations and hit “send” on the Vatican computer?  Collins believes that it “takes time to do right” – but children in danger right now don’t have that time; survivors still suffering at the ends of their lives don’t have that time.  She says that “Saunders doesn’t seem to be willing to put in that time,”  -- that’s correct, Saunders and all advocates of the children and survivors want the abuse to stop  right now!   Those who don’t are enablers or worse.

Speaking about Pope Francis’ feeble efforts: 

“I think Pope Francis enjoyed a longer and deeper honeymoon period than any leader I’ve ever seen,” said David Clohessy, national director and spokesman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or #SNAP. “But I think that’s eroding, and justifiably so, and more quickly than many church officials would hope.”

Francis is proving this erosion:

Recently, reporter John L. Allen Jr., an associate editor of the Catholic website #Crux, wrote about Vatican guidelines for new priests.  According to Allen, a church official who outlined the guidelines said bishops have “no duty to report allegations [of sexual abuse] to the police,” and that the commission, set up to advise the church on these matters, did not help in the creation of the guidelines. Allen wrote:
“What’s the point of creating a commission to promote best practices, and putting one of the Church’s most credible leaders on the abuse issue, Boston #CardinalSeanO’Malley, in charge of it, and yet not having it address the new leaders who will have to implement those practices?”  So nothing has changed: bishops still don’t have to report child rapes to the police – so what is the use of the commission?

O’Malley won’t talk about the work or plans of the commission and repeatedly turned down #GlobalPost requests for an interview.  David Clohessy said the news regarding the commission is just the latest version of a long line of promised church reforms that have gone nowhere. “There literally have been hundreds of church panels, and there have been thousands of incredibly smart experts and law enforcement officials and psychologists, and victims, who have wasted countless hours advising bishops who pretend to listen and care,” Clohessy said.

Pope Francis, do we need another commission to tell us why this one isn’t working?