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Is Catholic Church leadership deflecting instead of genuflecting?

Is Catholic Church leadership deflecting instead of genuflecting?

Catholic churchgoer yells, “shame on you” at archbishop as the church leader pleads with his parishioners to stay loyal to the Pope.

The response to the testimony offered by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, 77, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington D.C., that accused several senior church officials of complicity in covering up allegations of sexual abuse of minors and young men by former Archbishop of Washington D.C., Theodore McCarrick, has been nothing short of astonishing.

The first response from the Vatican in the wake of the wide release of Viganò’s letter was accurately predicted by satire site, The Babylon Bee.

While the papal message may not have been “climate change” per se, it certainly dealt with the environment.

Pope Francis on Saturday called for concrete action to combat the “emergency” of plastics littering seas and oceans, lamenting the lack of effective regulation to protect the world’s waters.

Building on his papacy’s concern for the environment, Francis issued a message aimed at galvanizing Christians and others to commit to saving what he hails as the “impressive and marvelous,” God-given gift of the “great waters and all they contain.”

When this announcement failed to sufficiently deflect attention from the growing anger at the #MeToo-style treatment of young Catholic men, Pope Francis’ homily clearly intimated that the testimonial and those who were responding to it were scandal-mongers…so the response to this faith-based catastrophe should be “prayer and silence“.

People who seek only scandal and division must be answered with silence and prayer, Pope Francis said Monday as the Catholic Church continued to grapple with controversy surrounding allegations of sexual abuse.

Francis, in a homily during Mass in Vatican City, did not specifically address the growing scandal. But he said even families can have division over topics such as politics, sports and money.

“With people lacking good will, with people who only seek scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within the family — (respond with) silence, prayer,” the pope said.

It may come as no surprise to the Legal Insurrection’s Catholics, or even those who are not, that the tone deaf response isn’t being terribly well received by the laity. For example, one archbishop thought it was proper to ask for loyalty to the Pope.

Tensions erupted during a Catholic mass as the Archbishop of Washington, D.C. addressed the clergy sex abuse scandal. A protester interrupted Cardinal Donald Wuerl Sunday as he pleaded for loyalty to Pope Francis.

Wuerl has been facing calls to resign since a scathing grand jury report revealed abuses that occurred during his time as head of the Pittsburgh diocese. The heckler was reportedly upset with the Catholic Church’s lack of transparency throughout decades of alleged sexual abuse. The disruption came when Cardinal Wuerl asked the congregation to keep Pope Francis in their prayers.

“Shame on you!” the protester yelled.

Additionally, in a newly issued press release, Cardinal Wuerl said: “Increasingly it is clear that he, the pope, is the object of concentrated attack.”

Helpful hint from a Catholic who joined in 2010: Asking for loyalty for the flawed man instead of the Holy Church, which should have been protected by its leadership, is not useful. Furthermore, making Pope Francis out to be the victim is highly inappropriate, especially in light of the allegations.

I have found much solace in the Catholic Church since I joined, as I had stresses and challenges that were difficult to endure without more faith in my life. My local parish has amazing priests and deacons, and fortunately none of them are ignoring Viganò’s allegations. They are planning “townhalls” to take the laity’s message to the leadership, in a quest to prevent future abuses.

During the meetings that will be held, I will specifically be asking that McCarrick be defrocked and that all the church appointments made under his influence be revoked, and the properly designated personnel who normally make these appointments name new leadership. I would also welcome fellow Catholics among our readers to chime in about we in the laity can do specifically, which might be considered reasonably achievable.

So, while I am not planning to leave the Church, I am praying for some inspiration to show my anger and the treatment of young Catholic men by those who were suppose to be their mentors, teachers, and protectors…as well as the improper focus on political priorities. I have already halted donating to the Catholic Church beyond the parish level, which happened when progressive San Diego’s Bishop Robert McElroy decided to slam President Donald Trump in public remarks.

As of now, I am wearing black for mourning to each Mass. I am also saying the Prayer to St. Michael daily, which seems appropriate based on the thoughts of Auxiliary Bishop of Los Angeles, Robert Barron (hat-tip, the Anchoress):

Being Bishop Barron, he doesn’t mince his words; he outright identifies a “diabolical masterpiece” at work in the midst of all of this. Further, that the actions detailed in the Grand Jury report contain a “demonic element”. He also decries the euphemistic language that contributed to the obfuscation and cover-ups, and is still being used, today. “We shouldn’t play word games” he said regarding the crimes committed. “We should say what they are…Lives were shattered and broken by these acts…if we don’t understand that by now, we are deaf, dumb, and stupid.”

I will also pray the Rosary daily, praying for the Church leadership to stop deflecting and to start genuflecting.


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Apparently the priesthood of the Catholic Church is merely a chapter of NAMBLA.

    ecreegan in reply to Dave. | September 4, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    The outright pedophilia is the offshoot problem. The root problem is the predatory-but-not-pedophiliac priests and sometimes even higher members of the hierarchy who embed themselves in Catholic seminaries and prey on wannabe priests, over whom they are in positions of authority and have emotional influence. Not that they’re limited to the seminaries, but it’s a great spot for 50-year-old men who want to have sex with 22-year-old men, and so attracts the predatory.

    If the bishop knows this is going on in a seminary he gets priests from, and one of the priests from that seminary later abuses altar boys, it’s hard for the bishop to adequately discipline the priest because the priest can truthfully say he was abused in seminary and whether or not his excuses that he never would have behaved this way without it are true, it harms the bishop.

      Respectfully, I disagree.

      The root problem is all the “good” people in the Catholic leadership that cover up, stonewall and deflect. They are enabling Evil. They have turned the Church over to be Satan’s bitch.

      And Leslie, I wish your position was stronger. It’s not enough.

        Arminius in reply to Fen. | September 4, 2018 at 2:55 pm

        Then they aren’t good, are they? And they aren’t capable of leadership.

        I remember then CNO ADM Mullen, testifying before Congress and advocating overturning the ban on gays in the military. He said that he had known gays in the Navy since Vietnam.

        That raised more than a few eyebrows in military and naval circles. Because apparently Mullen knew, and shut up about, men falsely enlisting. Because that was the state of naval regulations at the time. So we wanted to know, what other regulations did he disagree with and not enforce. Integrity demands you enforce them all whether you agree with them or not, but apparently Mullen didn’t like that standard (and admittedly not everyone lives up to it all the time but it takes a special piece of work to brag about how proud they are not living up to it in front of God, Congress, and the entire nation). So what other regulations did he feel like ignoring? And how can he complain when his subordinates feel like ignoring regulations, like when a junior enlisted person and an officer decide to ignore the regs against fraternization because as the gay rights people put it love is love? Nobody in power even thought to ask any of these questions but he was universally praised. The Commandant of the Marine Corps however was declared unfit to serve by national media outfits for daring to suggest the regulations that were then extant were in fact necessary for good order and discipline.

        The RCC is undergoing the same crisis of character that our other institutions have surrendered to a long time ago.

        Fen: If you want to give me suggestions I can do other than the ones I have outlined, which are not a dramatic waste of time and energy and might effect change, I am ready and waiting for your options.

        I am not quitting the Catholic Church, and I will be attending those tonwhalls to provide my analysis. It’s not like I can storm the Vatican and exorcise Pope Francis.

          Sorry Leslie, I hope you didn’t take that as a personal attack. I like you, I appreciate your work here, and I’m not meaning to hector you.

          But 😉

          I find your tone in your original post to be… I can’t find the precise word. Weak? Too conciliatory? Too forgiving? Reverential? Accomadating? As if this is a New Normal we’ll just have to get used to complaining about. Gosh darn there go those Priests again, guess we’ll put them back in n our prayers again… Even the title, an obvious statement (of course they are deflecting!) posed as a question. “Is Charles Manson getting a bad rap for the murder of Sharon Tate?”

          The Church is tone deaf, yes. But please consider that some of that deafness may have rubbed off on you. It reads that way to me. I think I may be more outraged and disgusted than you, and it’s not even my church (Methodist here, the least strict of all). If you really are hot about this, your anger is not coming across in your post.

          As for ideas? I’ll try to come up with more aggressive scenarios. But right of the bat – you have this platform, this blog, and you are journalist of sorts ( that’s not meant as an insult), so how about arranging some video interviews with Catholic leadership holding their feet to the fire? Or even video of you going from clergy office to clergy office getting rejected.

          Two more:

          2) POC for non-catholics to express their displeasure. We don’t know the bureaucracy the way you might. Who can we contact that will listen?

          3) is there a website for these townhalls? I would like to attend one in Maryland and DC. If there isn’t website, make one?

So, in four or five years from now, will there be another report from somewhere else or some other Grand Jury report stating that a few hundred priests in some parish or other somewhere molested another group of 1000 or more young men and women? Don’t just stop what IS happening, prevent what could be (and most likely is) happening?

Going by what has happened over the last 10 – 15 years, it doesn’t seem as if it is ever going to stop.

What will the catholic church do to prevent these little boys and girls from becoming victims of pedophiles in the future? It will happen again.

    30 years ago Queensryche released their album, Operation MindCrime. It’s a ballad about a corrupt underground ring involving the Catholic Church, hitmen, heroin dealers and prostitutes.

    “The priest is dead, on his knees he begged”

    The whole album is about the corruption of the Catholic Church. And while its fiction, it rings true after 30 years.

No offense, but the problem didn’t start with McCarrick, and it won’t be resolved if he is defrocked and his minions scattered.

I’m a Catholic revert since 1997. Probably a bit tone-deaf, I wasn’t as angry as I should have been over the underlying sins involved here – the cover-up (which might have even been well-intentioned at first to some degree) and the horrific original abuse. As a sinner myself, I can understand human weakness to some extent. (To the extent I judge others harshly, I condemn myself who have been given so many gifts from God.) But I am very upset over the ongoing cold-blooded sweep-everything-under-the-rug attitude from the current church leadership, up to and including Pope Francis. This is not a moment of weakness, but pure unrepentant evil that is also abominable example of imitating the good shepherd. I’m a hopeless Catholic to my dying breath, but I’m so upset with the leadership now who have for years failed to boldly preach the gospel in the face of the PC culture of death and have now overseen this scandal.

Withholding donations is the big constructive vehicle for change. Libearlly using LifeSiteNews’s new bishops accountability web site seems like a good opportunity too. We have to pray as well – God spits out the lukewarm church (Rev. 3:16).

For now the MSM is content to lob accusations at the Pope and the Church at large. To do proper investigation and follow all leads and participants will require a lot of media work which they will not do. Too many elements of post modern ‘progressive’ views of morality and right and wrong would be laid bare for all to see. So. Bring in the other sacraments of the modern Left: migrants and race, the environment, climate change, income inequality etc.

JusticeDelivered | September 4, 2018 at 12:13 pm

The Catholic church has become the ultimate example of a corrupt bureaucracy. It kind of reminds me of the beltway, a huge cesspool, not just a swamp, rather a rank cesspool.

I find it hard to understand how anyone stays with the church, it is hard to understand why parents are not pleading temporary insanity after nailing pedophile priests to those large crucifixes in the church.

    In our diocese, after the last round of abuse came to light in the early 2000’s, we have in place several child safety efforts. Glass windows in the classrooms, two people have to teach and or take a child to the bathroom during Sunday school, no pictures published on our Facebook showing kids so they can be identified. And we have to pass a background check to teach religious ed. or VBS. You were painting priests with a pretty broad brush. Our priest (and deacons) are truly shepherds. You know what I mean? Some priests are better at business or law and some are designed for a parish.

    This whole thing pisses me off and saddens me and makes me pray for the victims. And I’m mad at the Pope for being so tone deaf.

Joseph Farnsworth | September 4, 2018 at 12:18 pm

So, following your logic, “in light of the allegations” that people consorted with devil in 1692 in Salem,Mass., it is “highly inappropriate” that the 25 people who were killed or died in jail are viewed as “victims”?!? One need not deny that sexual abuse of children is evil and bad and has/does occur, to recognize the current frenzy is over-wrought and being corrupted by opportunists like Attorney General Josh Shapiro. Lurid allegations by a mentally-ill repeat-criminal against falsely accused Msgr. Thomas Benestad are being trotted out as absolute truth when they were debunked decades ago. 233 priests were named in the grand jury report of whose living status was noted – 124 or 53% are dead and can’t defend themselves. Sweet…

Justified by Bishop McElroy’s anti-Trump nonsense, let the City of San Diego put an end to the tax exemption of all arms of that diocese.

Heaton nailed it for believers of any flavor: “My allegiance is not to any man or institution, but only to Christ crucified and risen, who warned that it would be better to drown with a millstone around your neck than to cause his little ones to stumble.”

Abuse of any child is horrific, but the difference between Catholic church sexual abuse and the pandemic of government school teacher sexual abuse of children is I’m not required by law to pay taxes and send my child to the Catholic church.

Pray for them all.

My opinion: There is no Catholic leadership in Rome. The ‘Pope’ is a politician, not a spiritual leader. A good percentage of the Cardinals and Bishops need discipline, as well as a fair number of priests….but there are few willing to do the task, starting with the Pope. For him it seems to be all about image over substance. Centuries past and the Cardinals would just step up and poison such a Pope, but that wouldn’t go over very well in our era…to many forensic scientists I guess.

Many years ago the nuns at whatever it was, I don’t remember . . . Our Lady of Pain and Suffering, or something . . . seemed absolutely convinced that I was the Antichrist.

But I was pretty certain that I wasn’t.

My conclusion from this—Catholic authorities (which, compared to my then minuscule self, the nuns certainly were) wouldn’t recognize the real Antichrist when they saw him.

Although I was only about six at the time, I still think my conclusion explains rather a lot about the Church.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to tom_swift. | September 4, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    By third grade I was certain that the church was not for me. I have known many decent people who were Catholic, but the church hierarchy is not. One time I was speaking to a group of PhD students at Wheeling Jesuit, and spent a few days with the family of one of the professors. I went to mass with them, the priest carried on at length about the recent death of a man’s wife, a man who was worth a great deal of money. One thing about the church, is they are very money hungry. Their assets are truly staggering, while lots of needy people go without.

    And, there is a profound arrogance about the church with a very long history of the church doing lots of unchristian things.

    Actively running interference for pedophiles is perhaps their worst deed. It is unacceptable, and I really think that they should be prosecuted under RICO criminal statutes and their nonprofit status should be revoked, or at a minimum limit tax exempt status to just the house of worship.

What is the Italian word for “swamp”?

Ahh, so they’re going to defend this like Democrats defended Bill Clinton back in the day. Good luck with that.

I can’t be the only one noticing.

Leslie, the option of withholding funding from anything which will go to the US Bishops’ Council and the Vatican sounds good. I hope many Catholics follow that example.

In each diocese, Catholics need to be demanding clarity on their seminaries and seminarians, to be sure that this demonic infection is not being incubated there. And, in dioceses where the bishop may be complicit, there needs to be unrelenting pressure for transparency and for resignations of anyone involved in the conspiracy of silence.

I realize that Catholics accept the papacy’s universal ordinary jurisdiction. I don’t know how to get around that, since apparently this pope ignored recommendations from the US bishops and appointed tainted bishops and archbishops instead.

It is time to permit married priests as decent first step to reducing the chances for either predatory homosexuality or pedophilia. Those who have taken this step are far less likely to engage in that sort of abusive behavior, and it would help end the shortage of good priests.
The policy of celibacy isn’t required by scripture and there is really no benefit to any congregation. Someone with a wife can certainly do the job.

DieJustAsHappy | September 4, 2018 at 8:22 pm

It’s difficult for me to see the guilty ones genuflecting in any way more than a physical one. They who are to be ministering in the name of the Good Shepherd amount to nothing more than ravenous wolves among the sheep.

I’m still waiting for one, just one of them, to come forward in the presence of the Almighty and a gathered assembly, kneel, and make confession of their sin. And, thereby, declare himself unworthy to be a priest. Request to be laicized and state that he ready to accept any punish that is his due.

Meanwhile, I can’t help but think of Michelangelo Buonarroti’s Pietà. Mary holding the broken, lifeless body of her son, Jesus. To me it’s as if she’s holding the body of Christ today. While not dead, but awaiting that activity of the Almighty that will bring new life to this body. Meanwhile, we pray, “Lord, have mercy.”