Posted tagged ‘Pope Franics’


February 4, 2018

Pope Francis made the headlines recently for courageous but possibly (probably) making a dead wrong observations. The Pope responded to criticism of Bishop Juan Barros by accusing his accusers of speaking without proof.

The subject, not surprisingly, involved covering up priestly sex abuse. Why would the Pope do something like that?

Who knows for sure but the Pope had appointed Barros a Bishop and has drawn criticism for this from a number of voices within the church clergy, notably Cardinal O’Malley of Newark, NJ. Hmmm.

Covering up may seem different from complicity since the reason for covering up might be tied to protecting the church’s good name. Bishop Barros could feel justified by saying the alleged perpetrator had been removed from his post and no longer able to abuse. And Bishop Barros may have weighed the perpetrator’s good deeds with charges of alleged sexual abuse and felt pity for the perpetrator. Sound Christian like?

Complicity, however, does not exclude the possibility that covering up is a form of complicity. When someone “covers up” sexual abuse, this act empowers other abusers to abuse again. So what’s a Pope to do?

The Pope has claimed that he was unaware of any substantiated charges against Bishop Barros and therefore considered that his accusers were speaking with malice. On a pure logic basis, unsubstantiated charges amount to slander so right and wrong become difficult to separate. So, what’s a Pope to do?

There is probably no greater stain on the Catholic Church’s reputation than charges of pedophilia. No only have courts awarded huge sums of money to victims costing the church millions, but as an institution which claims to speak for god (or god’s words), are church members being asked to believe god is ok with abuse of children? Or, is god ok with abuse if the abuser raises lots of money for the church or by extension, a private citizen donates a lot of money to the church, does that person receive a “get out of jail” card?

There is no greater issue facing the Catholic Church’s relevance than clergy sex abuse. As the church’s head, Pope Francis needs to proactively lead the church towards  elimination (or at least the minimization) of occurrences. In the business world, CEO’s appoint senior executives, often called “compliance officer” to ensure a company complies with relevant laws or social norms.

At the very least, Pope Francis ought to have learned from this incident that his “organization” is, at best, half heartedly committed to ending pedophilia.