Even for non-practicing Catholics, Pope Francis’ tone-deaf refusal to comment even a “single word” on allegations that he personally covered up for a sexual predator makes it almost impossible to ignore the institutional rot and arrogance that has reached the highest levels of the church. Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the former chief Vatican diplomat in the United States issued a scathing indictment this week of the entire Roman Catholic hierarchy, accusing the church of effectively having been taken over by a mafia-like collection of high-ranking church officials who are determined to reverse church teaching on homosexuality and coddle predatory behavior amongst homosexual priests. The overall anti-homosexual theme of Vigano’s testimony explains why the media has paid less attention to it than the recent Pennsylvania grand jury report (recent headlines from the New York Times, “Vatican Power Struggle Bursts Into Open as Conservatives Pounce.”,“Francis Takes High Road As Conservatives Pounce, Taking Criticisms Public.”). Vigano’s letter also claims that Cardinal McCarrick “orchestrated” the installation of a cardinal named Blase Cupich over the archdiocese in Chicago. Cupich was alleged to be one of the Cardinals who was part of the pro-homosexual cabal in the Catholic hierarchy who was responsible for sheltering abusive priests. Over the course of June and July, the church took a number of disciplinary actions against McCarrick, after a church tribunal discovered credible evidence that McCarrick had engaged in sexual abuse of at least one teenage boy. Then, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago made the claim that Pope Francis shouldn’t comment on the scandal since he has “a bigger agenda. He’s got to get on with other things, of talking about the environment and protecting migrants and carrying on the work of the church. We’re not going to go down a rabbit hole on this.” Of course, there’s this…VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis wants concrete action to combat the “emergency” of plastics littering seas and oceans. Francis made the appeal in a message Saturday to galvanize Christians and others to work to save what he hails as the “marvelous,” God-given gift of the “great waters and all they contain.” He said efforts to fight plastics litter must be waged “as if everything depended on us.” Why not focus on cleaning up the garbage in your church first?
Reporting by the Boston Globe newspaper exposed widespread abuse and how paedophile priests were moved around by Church leaders instead of being held accountable. It prompted people to come forward across the US and around the world.
A Church-commissioned report in 2004 said more than 4,000 US Roman Catholic priests had faced sexual abuse allegations in the last 50 years, in cases involving more than 10,000 children – mostly boys.
A 2009 report found that sexual and psychological abuse was “endemic” in Catholic-run industrial schools and orphanages in Ireland for most of the 20th Century.
Now, a letter by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, alleges that Pope Francis himself had joined top Vatican officials in covering up the abuses and called for his resignation.
Archbishop Viganò, the former chief Vatican diplomat in the United States, worked with the reporter Marco Tosatti, who helped flush out the 7,000-word letter that called for the resignation of Pope Francis, accusing him of covering up sexual abuse and giving comfort to a “homosexual current” in the Vatican.
Archbishop Viganò claimed that the Vatican hierarchy was complicit in covering up accusations that Cardinal Theodore McCarrick had sexually abused seminarians and that Pope Francis knew about the abuses years before they became public. Yet, the letter contended, Francis did not punish the cardinal but instead empowered him to help choose powerful American bishops. “He knew from at least June 23, 2013, that McCarrick was a serial predator,” Archbishop Viganò wrote.
Archbishop Viganò, who blames gays for the child abuse crisis that has destroyed the church’s standing in many countries, dedicated entire sections of the letter to outing cardinals who he claims belong to what he characterizes as a pernicious “homosexual current” within the Vatican.
“These homosexual networks,” he wrote in the letter, “which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc., act under the concealment of secrecy and lies with the power of octopus tentacles, and strangle innocent victims and priestly vocations, and are strangling the entire church.”
“Now that I have finished, I can leave, and leave Rome too,” Archbishop Viganò told Mr. Tosatti.
A victim of a pedophile priest in Chile has revealed he wrote to the Pope in 2015 about an alleged cover-up after Francis denied getting evidence. Juan Carlos Cruz, a victim of cleric Fernando Karadima in the 1980s, accused fellow priest Juan Barros of witnessing the abuse and doing nothing.
A five-year inquiry into sexual abuse in Australia has released its final report, saying institutions had “seriously failed” to protect children. The royal commission, Australia’s highest form of public inquiry, heard more than 8,000 testimonies from victims of abuse. The accusations covered churches, schools and sports clubs over decades.
Among more than 400 recommendations, the report calls on the Catholic Church to overhaul its celibacy rules. “Tens of thousands of children have been sexually abused in many Australian institutions. We will never know the true number,” the report said. “It is not a case of a few ‘rotten apples’. Society’s major institutions have seriously failed.”
Since 2013, the royal commission has referred more than 2,500 allegations to authorities.
The media’s attempts to cover for Francis should be questioned: the mainstream media was more than happy to expose misconduct inside the Catholic Church when the Pope was a conservative; they surreptitiously facilitate a cover-up when the Pope is a liberal. As a Catholic, you must understand that if the members of the secular media are rabidly defending a papacy accused of sexual abuse cover-ups, it’s not out of love or a fairness for the Church. It’s out of a belief that traditionalist doctrine must be rooted out at any cost, even if that cost is the abuse of minors and the violation of basic canon law.
I left the church years ago, yet, at a deeper level, I wonder how can anyone still sit on the pews on Sunday understanding what the church has been doing. The Church is still a powerful entity, and it still has the ability to do much good in the world. But that cannot happen until it cleanses itself and replaces evil predators with true men, or woman of God.