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Sunday, June 5, 2016

#PopeFrancis calls #CatholicChurch “loving mother” – what kind of mother promotes #childsexualabuse?

Bishops not showing their faces - guilty?
So Francis says that Catholic bishops guilty of negligence in child abuse cases can now be dismissed from office.  Is it a coincidence that Frances made this announcement just two weeks after he came under fire for meeting French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyon, accused of covering up for a pedophile priest in a scandal that has shaken France’s Catholic Church? Francis said then it would be “nonsensical and imprudent” to seek Barbarin’s resignation. 

French law officials are deciding whether to pursue charges against Barbarin for his handling of the allegations against Bernard Preynat, a priest in his diocese who has been charged with sex abuse. Police raided the offices of a clerical judicial adviser to the Lyon diocese and Barbarin will be questioned by police shortly, according to the French press. Good for the French police – let’s hope other countries follow their lead.

David Clohessy, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is, with good cause, very skeptical about this “new” plan working. In the case of the abuse of minors, “Popes and bishops have long had the power, but not the will, to oust those who protect predators and endanger kids. They refuse to do this, and the consequences are devastating,” Clohessy said. “When it’s advantageous to move quickly, Catholic officials move quickly. When they want to move slowly, or not at all, they set up commissions and ‘processes’ and the like.”

The bishops, according to Francis, can be sacked for “serious reasons.”  But who is deciding what is serious? We’ve seen for 2000 years that self-policing by the church hierarchy changes nothing when it comes to justice for child sex abuse victims.

How can Francis say, in the face of worldwide child sexual abuse by his church which has mostly gone unpunished that:

“The Church, like a loving mother, loves all her children, but treats and protects with special affection the smallest and most helpless.”   My brother and I were not protected from the priest who raped us and the nuns who beat us – so what is he talking about? Maybe he believes his own lies.

The Pope’s tribunal set up to discipline bishops did nothing for a year.  Now Francis has a “college of legal experts” — cardinals and bishops —to assist him in reaching a decision in a particular case. Sounds like more stone-walling to me: Roman Catholic bishops who have failed to properly handle sex abuse cases will be investigated by four Vatican offices -  of course decisions will have to wait until all four offices are done.

Canon (church) law already provides for the removal of bishops “for serious causes,” which the pope has acknowledged.  So how come no bishops were removed?  We are back to the “serious” acts that Francis and his minions will define. So far covering up child rape has not been serious enough to result in bishop dismissal.

Let’s see how soon Pope Francis’ “new” plan will produce action that will make a difference in the lives of those of us abused by the catholic church.  Let’s check back a year from now and see if this new committee did anything besides protect the reputation of the church and use parishioners’ money to defend criminal bishops and priests.