Sunday, March 29, 2015

“Pope Francis”: Business as Usual in the Sex Abuse Scandal

Look at the fine print beneath the photo. This time, some editor at Patrick Buchanan’s “The American Conservative” let that one slide for use with this pope. For Buchanan, “the 1950’s were ‘The Catholic Moment’”

This time, it’s Rod Dreher who’s sounding the alarm on this particular “moment”. Buchanan’s age has certainly passed. But here Dreher, a convert to Roman Catholicism some years ago, who converted back out of it (to Orthodoxy) some years ago (because he couldn’t stomach defending the sexual abuse scandal), cited an AP article at length:

Several members of Pope Francis’ sex abuse advisory board are expressing concern and incredulity over his decision to appoint a Chilean bishop to a diocese despite allegations that he covered up for Chile’s most notorious pedophile.

In interviews and emails with The Associated Press, the experts have questioned Francis’ pledge to hold bishops accountable and keep children safe, given the record of Bishop Juan Barros in the case of the Rev. Fernando Karadima.

[Here comes the ever present Roman Catholic disclaimer]: The five commission members spoke to the AP in their personal and professional capacity and stressed that they were not speaking on behalf of the commission, which Francis formed in late 2013 and named Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley to head.

“I am very worried,” said commission member Dr. Catherine Bonnet, a French child psychiatrist and author on child sex abuse. “Although the commission members cannot intervene with individual cases, I would like to meet with Cardinal O’Malley and other members of the commission to discuss a way to pass over our concerns to Pope Françis.”

Another commission member, Marie Collins, herself a survivor of abuse, said she couldn’t understand how Barros could have been appointed given the concerns about his behavior.

“It goes completely against what he (Francis) has said in the past about those who protect abusers,” Collins told AP. “The voice of the survivors is being ignored, the concerns of the people and many clergy in Chile are being ignored and the safety of children in this diocese is being left in the hands of a bishop about whom there are grave concerns for his commitment to child protection.”

Dreher’s payoff: “The AP story goes on to say that as archbishop of Buenos Aires in neighboring Argentina, Francis would have known well the Karadima scandal when it broke in 2010. This is not a case in which a remote pontiff knows next to nothing about a local problem, and is getting advice from people who are misleading him. He can’t possibly not know what’s going on.”

The point: This pope knows, and he’s not worried about it.

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