Pope Francis is under fire. He’s been accused of covering up aberrant sexual behavior of a high ranking member of the Catholic Church even after the priest was sanctioned by Francis’ predecessor, Benedict. The accusation comes from another priest who is an opponent of the pope. Some are questioning the intentions of the accuser.
Since he became pontiff, Francis has assured his worldwide flock that sins of priests perpetrated against children would be reckoned with. But what does this mean? In most developed countries sexual abusers are ostracized on the spot and stripped of their positions, if not prosecuted.
Apparently Francis’ plan is to ask for forgiveness and play down the increasing number of crimes that are being reported. But now, in the light of the aforementioned accusation, the pope’s plan may not pan out. The sexual abuse revolution throughout the world has begun to embrace the young boys who were abused by clerics for centuries. And, long-time Catholics want more than lip service.
Crimes against women are despicable, and brave women are identifying offenders every day. The objective is not money or fame. Rather these women want their sisters to know what they experienced years and even decades earlier, and to ensure that abuses end immediately.
In the case of the Church, pedophilia has been running rampant as more and more boys/men are coming forward to tell their horror stories. What makes actual abuse so gut wrenching is that supposed “men of God” used their positions and spiritual influence to obtain sexual favors.
And so the question now being asked is how could the Church allow known predators to continue to be priests while they were raping young boys? Why would Catholic pastors, bishops, cardinals and maybe even popes transfer pedophiles to new locations where they could continue to sate their warped libidos?
Pope Francis has said, or at least strongly suggested, he will deal with this scandal. Perhaps he misjudged the scope of the problem, or maybe he believes the reputation of the Church is more important than admonishing evildoers under his employ.
Francis’ plan, directly and implicitly, refers to the priests who covered up the abuses and moved offenders to different locations. From his latest comments the pope seems to think that this group should be forgiven and receive another chance. This follows because allegations indicate he may be part of the problem.
The dilemma is that Francis cannot bring to task the priests that relocated offenders if he also did the same thing. Forgiveness and “letting bygones be bygones” will not be acceptable in the current environment. The Church will need to do much more to end this multi-century crime wave.
If Francis covered up an offense, and an abuser was relocated and committed similar crimes, the pope is culpable. What would ensue is anyone’s guess, but, for sure, Francis’ administration will be under severe distress and many will call for his resignation.
Francis is charming and many people lauded his ascension. My question is what has he done differently than previous popes? Is he just an extension of the past and antiquated dogma and tradition, or a real reformer? We may never know because now Francis is part of a scandal investigation.