“In her voyage across the ocean of this world, the Church is like a great ship being pounded by the waves of life’s different stresses. Our duty is not to abandon ship but to keep her on her course.”
The recent and shocking exposure of sexual abuse of children and its deliberate cover-up at high levels within the Catholic Church is not only abhorrent, but an apocalyptic betrayal of trust by priests towards the most unsuspecting and the most vulnerable.
It is not new news however, and neither is it limited to Philadelphia.
As the investigation unfurls, and new victims come forward, it is apparent that this has occurred in many states here, in the UK, in Ireland, in South America and even in Australia. It is seemingly a universal problem. Indeed, the reputation of many priests as sexual perpetrators has become such common knowledge in Italy, as to cause Italian Mothers to warn their children not to be left alone with the clergy.
It seems to me that a “Man of God” that rapes children and succumbs to evil temptation can no longer be practicing the teachings of Christ, and should be defrocked, and dare I say, excommunicated.
Excommunication after all, to a devout Christian, would be the ultimate penalty ...
"The beginning of all temptation lies in a wavering mind and little trust in God, for as a rudderless ship is driven hither and yon by waves, so a careless and irresolute man is tempted in many ways."
THOMAS A KEMPIS, The Imitation of Christ
I think the whole notion of chastity as a major or sole pathway to godliness or spirituality is based on a mistaken notion, and it is obvious, as evidenced by the behavior of priests throughout the centuries. Even as far back as the Borgias, there is documented evidence of pedophilia, debauchery, and deviant sexual indulgence within the Catholic Church.
“Sipe called the priesthood a “homosocial culture. All the values within the culture are male, and the reason there has been such a tolerance across the board of sexual activity by priests or bishops is that there is a boys-will-be-boys atmosphere. It’s kind of a spiritual fraternity—like a college fraternity, but with a spiritual aura around it.”
― The Boston Globe, Betrayal: The Crisis in the Catholic Church
What makes the whole matter worse is that at the beginning of his papacy, Pope Francis knew about the widespread problem, but he failed to act quickly enough.
A report released by a former Vatican ambassador to the United States charges that Pope Francis knew about sexual abuse by former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, removed a suspension placed on him by Pope Benedict, and then proceeded to make him one of his most trusted advisors.
Earlier this year, Pope Francis defended a bishop who covered up for a pedophile priest in Chile. The pope ignored complaints about the bishop before promoting him in 2015
Despite the victims’ advocates calling for an extension of the statute of limitations for prosecution, the Vatican has proposed to put new limits on the statute, thereby limiting the time span during which priests can be held accountable.
Pope Francis’s liberal views have brought about many positive changes within the Catholic Church since his election, but his “blind eye“ towards evidenced based accusations in Chile, has cast serious doubts on his ability to fulfill his promise to root out the “ scourge “ of sex abuse. Since then, he has created a Vatican tribunal to judge clergy of such crimes, but now the Vatican’s appeal to limit the statute of limitations puts the seriousness of demanding accountability into question.
Not that I blame the Pope for the crimes of his clergy, I believe that he is a good man; but as the captain of his ship, one asks, " Should he be held accountable?"
So, it is time for a quick sequel to The Pope and the Cardinal, poem...
But first, for those of you who have never read my original poem, (published in 2014), I enclose it here, together with the original illustrations...
It is written in the style of Edward Lear and Lewis Carol, and mimics the stanza of "The Owl and the Pussycat"....
(I recite the whole poem in my audio book version. )
Pope Francis's journey deserves retrospection
Whilst sailing his course in a "different' direction
Inherited problems insight recollection
A scourge in the pulpit suggests an infection...
The wide spread corruption is causing disruption
His hoodwinked perspective augments the defective
Despite liberal thinking
His vessel is sinking..
To the Catholic believer,
I mean no disrespect
But this culture of abuse one has to reject
No man of honor could ever conceive
No man or woman could ever believe
Preying on the children who suffer to come
Instead of praying with those who repent one by one …
Tis the devil who chooses to prey on the young
But now they are trying to narrow the time
a perpetrator be accountable for his foul crime
I don't have the answers, I have no control
But you my dear reader, you cannot condole
The cancerous growth on the Face of religion
In my opinion should be headed for prison
The ultimate betrayal of Jesus's teaching
Against all he stands for, against all his preaching..
One asks should Pope Francis be blamed for his flock?
Should he float? should he sink? should he anchor and dock?
"Watch this space", said the Fox, as he broadcast this story
Will Francis preserve the Church in its' Glory ?
So here ends the tale of Pope Francis and co
what transpires directly we All soon will know!