Saturday, February 13, 2016

Is the Vatican Lying About Addressing Sex Abuse by Priests

With the Roman Catholic Church continuing to disseminate anti-gay lies and untruths, it seems only appropriate to continue to disseminate the truth about the Church and its continued refusal to act decisively to stop sexual abuse of children and youths and, more importantly, fire every bishop and cardinal who participated in cover ups.  True, the latter move would likely decimate the Church hierarchy, but absent such a severe move, don't expect anything to change the mindset of the bitter old men in dresses in Rome and bishoprics across the globe. Meanwhile, members of Pope Francis’s special Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors who are critical of the Commission's failure to act are being asked to take forced leaves of absence.  In short, nothing seems to be changing despite lip service to the contrary and the molestation of children and youths remains a form of droit du seigneur for Catholic priests.  The Daily Beast looks at the Vatican's refusal to take the steps that need to be done.  Here are article excerpts:
One might think that a commission designed to rid the Catholic Church of its predator priests and try to heal decades of suffering by sex abuse victims might actually be involved in, well, doing just that.
On the contrary, it would seem that Pope Francis’s special Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that he created in 2014 is not exactly getting its hands dirty when it comes to actually teaching bishops how to deal with the problems it has been tasked to deal with.

It’s not clear whether there is just a lapse when it comes to integrating commissions and groups that actually do the work, or if it is because of a more intentional oversight. Before the commission started its meetings last week, they secretly gathered at the Santa Marta Domus, where Pope Francis lives, to watch the Academy Award-nominated movie Spotlight, about The Boston Globe’s stellar reporting on exposing the sex abuse scandal in the Boston diocese.

The news of the “unofficial screening” came out when Peter Saunders, one of two child sex abuse survivors on the commission, told the Los Angeles Times that he also wished Pope Francis might see it so he truly understood the full extent of the cover-up in dioceses like Boston.

“The film is extremely worrying about the cover-up of abuse in the Catholic Church, and I think it would be a good moment for the pope to see it,” Saunders said. The pope did not attend, and the next day, Saunders was asked to take a leave of absence from the commission. 
“It was decided” that Saunders would take a leave of absence to “consider how he might best support the commission’s work,” the Vatican said in announcing the move. Saunders held his own press conference and told reporters that he wouldn’t step down until and unless Francis himself asked him.

Saunders had been increasingly frustrated with the commission’s slow pace, telling the media that their work was futile. “The last meeting in October was a non-event,” he said. “I was told that Rome was not built in a day—but the problem is that it takes seconds to rape a child.”

Other survivors have expressed similar concerns. “The Pope’s abuse panel will issue recommendations. The Pope will adopt them. And nothing will improve. Why? Because there will be no enforcement,” says David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests, called SNAP. “Why? Because the church hierarchy is an entitled, rigid, secretive, all-male monarchy. No new protocols or policies or procedures will radically undo a centuries-old self-serving structure that rewards clerics who keep a tight lid on child sex crimes and cover-ups.”

Clohessy says the clear answer to this crisis remains outside of the church hierarchy “with victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers speaking up and with police, prosecutors and secular authorities stepping up.”  

But if the Vatican’s own special commission can’t even get a word in to help solve the problem, it seems an impossible dream that anyone else might have better luck. 

The Vatican and the Church hierarchy remain one large criminal conspiracy when it comes to the sex abuse scandal.  Decent people should simply walk away from the Church if they do not want to be accessories to sex crimes against children.

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