Category: abuse crisis

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What to make of Benedict’s essay on the crisis?

This Thursday, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI published an article in a German newspaper about the sexual abuse crisis. In it, the Pope Emeritus takes some hard stances against the decline in sexual morality that took place following the 1960s in general, and the Second Vatican Council in particular. Francis’ detractors, unsurprisingly, have read it as a vindication of their claims that the root cause of the abuse crisis is the Church’s sexual decay. They see...

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The new Apostolic Exhortation: Christus vivit – Christ lives

Update: The exhortation has been released and is available on the Vatican website.  The Exhortation, signed on March 25, was released today, April 2, the Memorial of the Death of John Paul II. Update #2: It is also posted on Zenit’s website, which is much more mobile-friendly. Today, during a pilgrimage to Loreto, Pope Francis signed the text of the soon-to-be-released Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, which is the fruit of the 2018 Synod on Young People,...

China’s “other” cardinal

With all the attention Cardinal Joseph Zen has been getting with regard to his protests against the China/Vatican deal, most American Catholics probably aren’t aware that Hong Kong has two retired cardinals. Taking a much different approach than his predecessor, Cardinal John Tong, has offered his support for the agreement, and has spoken of the hope that a unified Catholic Church in China represents. While the bishop of Hong Kong does not have jurisdiction over...

Prophetic words at the Vatican’s abuse summit

The meeting on the sexual abuse of young people in the Church, held from February 21-24, is over. Prelates from all over the world now return to their countries with a clearer idea of Pope Francis’s intentions for the Church’s approach to this serious issue, as well as what is expected of them as leaders and pastors in the Church. Pope Francis’ closing remarks had some strong language: The brutality of this worldwide phenomenon becomes...

Notes on the Vatican abuse summit

The lang-awaited and unprecedented Meeting “The Protection of Minors in the Church,” referred to colloquially as the “Vatican Abuse Summit” is underway, gathering Church officials and the heads of the world’s national bishops’ conferences to discuss the global problem of sexual abuse in the Church. Pope Francis called this meeting late last year, in the wake of the US cases of Theodore McCarrick and the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, as well as the serious abuse...

The Harlot and the Bride

In the first reading today, John describes the apocalyptic fall of the great city of Babylon. While there’s debate among Scripture scholars over whether John’s vision of Babylon represents Rome or Jerusalem, for my purposes here I want to focus on Babylon being identified as “the great harlot.” The harlot in Biblical imagery is the unfaithful one, the adulterer, the idolater. Harlotry, then, is the love of earthly goods to the detriment of love of God...

Yet another reason to mistrust the pope

Over the weekend I saw many people speaking out in frustration over Pope Francis putting Cardinal Cupich of Chicago on the planning committee for the February meeting in Rome addressing the abuse crisis. Those critical of this appointment are, unsurprisingly, conservative American Catholics who generally distrust the pope already. They are presenting Cupich’s appointment as yet another reason to doubt the pope and this upcoming meeting. This mistrust of Cupich largely rests on three recent...

USCCB Fall Meeting highlights: abuse crisis, McCarrick, racism

The public portion of the annual November meeting of the US Bishops has just concluded. It was certainly an eventful — and at times dramatic — three days. The week began with the news that the Vatican, through the Congregation of Bishops, requested that the US bishops delay their vote on accountability measures for US Bishops involved in the sex abuse scandal until after the February meeting of the global bishops’ conference leaders in Rome....

Viganòrwellian newspeak: sanctions are sanctions, even when they are not

When Archbishop Viganò released his first testimony, he categorically claimed that Pope Benedict XVI had placed Archbishop McCarrick under canonical sanctions. He was very specific on the terminology he used and in what those canonical sanctions meant. He said, and I quote (emphasis not mine, but from the source material): “Pope Benedict had imposed on Cardinal McCarrick sanctions similar to those now imposed on him by Pope Francis: the Cardinal was to leave the seminary where he...

The Pagan law of Eternal Return and the faithful’s inconstancy

“Their position is quite reasonable; nay, in a sense it is infinitely reasonable, just as a threepenny bit is infinitely circular. But there is such a thing as a mean infinity, a base and slavish eternity. It is amusing to notice that many of the moderns, whether sceptics or mystics, have taken as their sign a certain eastern symbol, which is the very symbol of this ultimate nullity. When they wish to represent eternity, they...

Francis’ rosary call – let’s pray for our Church!

The Pope has issued an invitation to every Catholic worldwide: please take the month of October (a Marian month, since both the last Fatima apparition and the Miracle of the Sun happened in October) and pray a rosary everyday. Also, every faithful should conclude the rosary with a special invocation to Our Lady (the Sub Tuum Presidium) and with Pope Leo XIII’s prayer to St. Michael Archangel. This is completely in character with our dear Pope, one of the most Marian popes...

Letter of Pope Francis to the People of God: Only penance and prayers?

In the past month, the 11-page Viganò testimony has made rounds, creating highly polarized discussions in mainstream and social media. His letter included a series of allegations and accusations against Pope Francis and many Cardinals who were implicated in the cover-up of McCarrick’s sexual misconduct. However, in just one week, the story completely dried up “like a fig tree that bore no fruit” (as recently quipped to me by Pedro Gabriel). However, the noisy clamor...

Fake news and seething contempt for Pope Francis

Some Catholics disagree with much of what Pope Francis says and does — this is undeniable. Believe it or not, I don’t think there is anything intrinsically wrong with criticizing a pope on prudential matters, at least when done thoughtfully and when consideration is given to the context and circumstances around the pope’s decision or action. In recent months, however, I have noticed that some papal critics appear to respond immediately to anything he says...

Polarized over the pope, Viganò style

More than two weeks after the release of the sensational “Testimony” of former US apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, in which he calls for the resignation of Pope Francis, the Church finds itself in a period of intense polarization that’s difficult to assess. First, if you haven’t read it, I wholeheartedly recommend Greg Daly’s recent piece in the Irish Catholic, in which he heroically attempts to parse out what we know and what we...

Viganò admits: Francis not a part of gay lobby

In his polemical testimony, made public nearly a week ago, Arb. Viganò blamed most of the American Church’s abuse crisis on homosexual behavior on the part of the clergy (namely Arb. McCarrick.) However, this is not the only focus of his letter: he is equally critical of many clergymen who espouse a more “liberal” or “lax” view on homosexuality… and he seems to imply that Pope Francis is among them (or at least, an enabler...

If Even the Pope is Corrupt…

If even the Pope is corrupt, it means that I was drastically wrong about him. I have been drastically wrong before: I was once a Protestant! If even the Pope is corrupt, it means that I thought someone an eminently holy man who was not. It means that I still have much to learn about the love of God– but when has that not been the case? It is a lesson in humility and humiliation,...