Posts Tagged Francis
Does the Roman Catholic clergy sexual abuse scandal come down to this? — “When one of the former Legionaries expressed his frustration, in the lawsuit, about the Church’s inaction (regarding clergy sexual abuse allegations), (Jason) Berry and (Gerald) Renner reported in their book (“Vows of Silence), the Legionaries’ own canon lawyer, Martha Wegan, who made no secret that her first loyalty was to the Church, replied, “‘It is better for eight innocent men to suffer than for millions to lose their faith.'” (excerpt from the story cited below; emphasis added)
The election of Pope Francis, in 2013, had the effect, among other things, of displacing the painful story of priestly sexual abuse that had dominated public awareness of the Church during much of the eight-year papacy of his predecessor. The sense that the Church, both during the last years of Benedict and under Francis, had begun to deal more forcefully with the issue created a desire in many, inside and outside the Church, to move on. But recent events suggest that we take another careful look at this chapter of Church history before turning the page.”
By Alexander Stille, The New Yorker — Click here to read the rest of this story
Vatican watchers in the media continue to assess Francis’ impact a little more than two years and a month into his papacy. Here are three recent stories:
The barque of Peter in shark-infested waters
(Apr. 13, 2015) “The seas have suddenly become a lot more agitated for Pope Francis, who up to now has proven to be amazingly unsinkable in the face of any kind of adversity. But in the last few weeks, he has found himself in the midst of several minor crises and controversies that if not resolved well could work to undermine his credibility with many Catholics and deal a blow to his project for reforming the church.” By Robert Mickens, Global Pulse editor-in-chief, in National Catholic Reporter
Despite rhetoric, Pope Francis treats cardinals like princes
(Apr. 10, 2015) “In his pre-Christmas talk to the cardinals and bishops of the Vatican Curia, Pope Francis shocked his audience and the world by his scathing words on the failings of those working in the Vatican. He warned them against 15 separate “diseases” in their work and attitudes … News stories of this talk naturally connected it with Pope Francis’ plans to reform the Curia, but the speech notwithstanding, little progress has been seen except in the area of financial reform. After such a speech, one would have expected heads to roll, but they did not. Despite the rhetoric, curial cardinals are still treated like princes.” By Thomas Reese, National Catholic Reporter
Pope Francis is wildly popular. So what?
(Apr. 8, 2015) “In the days before Easter, NBC News and the Wall Street Journal published the results of a poll finding that most Americans still hold a favorable view of Pope Francis. A few weeks before that, the Pew Research Center released a report showing that the pope remains popular even with non-Catholics. That was an update to a poll from last December demonstrating that Francis was popular around the world, too.” By Michael O’Loughlin, Cruxnow.com
Four members of Pope Francis’ sex abuse advisory commission traveled to Rome on Sunday (Apr. 12) to voice their concerns in person about Francis’ appointment of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up for the country’s most notorious molester.
“The four met with Francis’ point-man on abuse, Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, who agreed to relay their concerns to the pope about the appointment of Juan Barros as bishop of Osorno in southern Chile, the commission members said in a statement.”
By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press in The Island Packet — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Vatican abuse commission members hope to meet with Francis about Chilean bishop / National Catholic Reporter
Members of the Vatican commission advising Pope Francis on clergy sexual abuse are making an unscheduled visit to Rome on Sunday (April 12), hoping to personally tell the pope their concerns about his appointment of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up abuse.
“Two members of the commission who are survivors of abuse will make the trip with two other survivors and are scheduled to meet Sunday evening with Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley, head of the Vatican commission and also a member of Francis’ Council of Cardinals.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
As clergy child abuse scandals jolt the church, Pope Francis has defrocked predatory bishops from Peru and Poland after secret Vatican proceedings. He also intervened on a victim’s behalf in Spain, which emboldened prosecutors to indict a priest who was part of an alleged ring of clergy abusers in the Grenada diocese, according to press reports.
“‘A zero tolerance approach must be adopted,’ Francis told reporters on an airline press conference from Tel Aviv to Rome last May, a sentiment he has backed with action in the intervening months.
“But the 17-member papal advisory commission on the abuse crisis faces a glaring loophole over bishops who have sheltered predators — a loophole that creates a tripwire to Pope Francis’s stated goal.”
By Jason Berry, GlobalPost.com — Click here to read the rest of this story.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ 2014 fall general assembly starts today, Nov. 10, in Baltimore, Maryland.
U.S. Roman Catholic bishops are gathering at a moment of turbulence for them and the American church, as Pope Francis moves toward crafting new policies for carrying out his mission of mercy — a prospect that has conservative Catholics and some bishops in an uproar.
“The assembly, which starts Monday (Nov. 10) in Baltimore, comes less than a month after Francis ended a dramatic Vatican meeting on how the church can more compassionately minister to Catholic families.
“The gathering in Rome was only a prelude to a larger meeting next year which will more concretely advise Francis on church practice. Still, the open debate at the event, and the back and forth among bishops over welcoming gays and divorced Catholics who remarry, prompted stunning criticism from some U.S. bishops.”
By Rachel Zoll, Associated Press — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Pope Francis has codified his ability to effectively fire Catholic bishops, saying that in some circumstances, he ‘can consider it necessary’ to ask them to resign their offices.
“The move, which the Vatican announced Wednesday (Nov. 5), seems to be an attempt by Francis to clear up any ambiguity about the pontiff’s power to replace prelates around the world. While Francis and his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, have effectively removed bishops in the past, their power to do so was not previously so explicit in the church’s laws.
“Wednesday’s change comes in a short edict approved Monday (Nov. 3) by Francis at the request of Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state. Composed of seven short articles, the edict addresses the resignation of diocesan bishops and papal appointees.”
By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
“Indeed, says the US Catholic paleo-conservative (Pat Buchanan), the Pope may be ‘speaking heresy,’ which would imply that Francis is ‘not a valid pope.’
“Yet how does this high-octane indignation square with widespread reports at the end of last week (Oct. 17) that a liberal Pope had been defeated by doctrinaire traditionalists in his attempts to make the Church more welcoming to gays and divorcees? The fortnight-long Extraordinary Synod on the Family ended with headlines like: ‘Pope snubbed’ and ‘Liberal Hopes Dashed.’
“The answer is that, as the dust settles, what has become clear is that, for all the hoo-ha made by conservative cardinals, the overall outcome has been a remarkable advance for those who want the Catholic Church to be more compassionate and inclusive. The vociferous minority who tried to box the Pope into a corner, on gays and divorcees who remarry, may have won one small battle. But they are losing the wider war.”
By Paul Vallely, The Independent — Click here to read the rest of this story.
“Pope Francis told bishops attending the recent Synod of Bishops on the family to speak their minds freely and boldly during the two-week-long assembly. And so they did, at least a good many of them. (There were also some who held back, hedging their bets, perhaps as they wait in joyful hope for the coming of the next pontificate.)
“This freedom of theological speech has been, until now, a faded memory in ecclesiastical Rome, and it opened quite a lively debate on issues that had long been closed off to candid discussion throughout the church. Now the debate has begun. And it will continue.”
By Robert Mickens, Editor-in-Chief, Global Pulse, in National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.
Two priests from the United States, one with ties to Chicago and the other a veteran of the Boston archdiocese, have been named to key Vatican roles by Pope Francis in his clean-up effort with regard to the Church’s child sexual abuse scandals.
“At the same time, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley of Boston has also been confirmed as president of a new anti-abuse commission created by the pontiff in December 2013.
“Prior to this point the Vatican officially had described O’Malley only as a member of the commission, though behind the scenes he played the key role in its activities, including organizing a July 7 meeting for Francis with victims of abuse.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this story.
As anyone who paid attention in history class knows, when Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés landed in what’s now Mexico in 1519, he promptly scuttled his ships, thereby leaving his men no choice but to press on in conquest of the Aztec empire. For centuries, that rash act has loomed as an object lesson in total commitment.
“This week (week of July 7) Pope Francis scuttled some ships of his own, on two fronts which have been sources of scandal and heartache for the Catholic Church: sex and money.
“On Monday (July 7), Francis held his first meeting with victims of clerical sexual abuse. Two days later, the Vatican announced a sweeping financial overhaul, including new leadership and a sharply limited role for the troubled Vatican bank.”
By John L. Allen, Jr., The Boston Globe — Click here to read the rest of this article.