Pope Francis holds emergency summit with US bishops amid more allegations of harassment and cover-ups
After the meeting, Vatican officials announced a new investigation into a West Virginia bishop.
Pope Francis has just concluded an emergency summit with U.S. bishops over the growing sex abuse crisis and cover-up scandal that has impacted the Roman Catholic Church in the wake of the revelations in by a Pennsylvania grand jury and the details offered in a letter recently published by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served a a Vatican diplomat in Washington D.C. from 2011 to 2016.
Shortly after the meeting, Vatican officials announced a new investigation into a West Virginia bishop accused of molesting adults.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, the head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and his deputy, Los Angeles Archbishop Jose Horacio Gomez, were among prelates who flew to the Vatican after a former Washington archbishop, Theodore McCarrick, was stripped of his cardinal’s red hat in light of claims that he abused an altar boy in the 1970s.
As the four-man delegation filed in to see the pope, the Vatican announced Francis had accepted the resignation of West Virginia Bishop Michael Bransfield, while the bishop’s diocese said William Lori, the archbishop of Baltimore, would investigate claims Bransfield had sexually harassed adults.
A hotline was set up by the Wheeling-Charleston diocese in West Virginia to take calls from victims stepping forward.
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston also requested a full Vatican investigation into the charges against McCarrick, stating he wanted answers to allegations Vatican officials, including Pope Francis, ignored McCarrick’s abuse and promoted him anyway.
“These answers,” Cardinal DiNardo said, “are necessary to prevent a recurrence, and so help to protect minors, seminarians, and others who are vulnerable in the future. We will therefore invite the Vatican to conduct an Apostolic Visitation to address these questions.”
The Washington Post offers some insight to McCarrick, who was in charge of selecting seminarians who would then go on to become priests. The article focuses on the 1986 experiences a then 26-year-old Michael Reading, who was studying for the priesthood and had heard the stories about McCarrick’s notorious beach house.
…Eventually, Reading says, McCarrick appeared, dressed in shorts and a polo shirt. He sat near Reading as the young men began to joke about going for a swim, teasing the archbishop that he ought to take a dip.
McCarrick laughed along with them, Reading recalls. “Then he slid his hand down the back of my swimsuit, and said, ‘You’re dry.’ ” McCarrick’s hand rested there, on the bare skin of his buttocks, under the fabric of his swimsuit, Reading told me. “I was dumbfounded. I was frozen. I didn’t know what to do or say,” Reading told me.
Reading is no longer a practicing priest. He indicates that his experience with McCarrick left him feeling neglected and devalued by his superiors.
I attended a town hall with my local parish, to discuss the crisis. It was headed by our priest and two deacons, and the level of anger at the Catholic church leadership was directed at both the abuse and the cover-up. I noted that many who attended were particularly angry, as this is the second major sex scandal that they have had to confront in recent memory, and it was their donations that footed the settlement bill.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles had to pay $660 million to 508 victims through a negotiated settlement, according to BishopAccountability.org, a website that chronicles the abuse scandal. The Diocese of San Diego settled with 144 victims in bankruptcy court for $198 million, while the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, settled with 162 victims for $37 million, also in bankruptcy court, according to the website.
The abuse and subsequent cover-ups have cost Catholics talented priests, and diverted monies that could have gone to church construction, Catholic programs, or critical charities. Beyond these consequences, I would conclude based on the comments I heard that the bond of trust between the laity and the upper echelon of leadership has been severed.
The new investigation is a step in the right direction, but there is a lot more that will have to be done…especially by Pope Francis himself. It’s time for him to focus on changing the climate of the Catholic Church.
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Translation = Pope reminded that the church does have the power to take away is big pretty hat and excommunicate his communist arse unless he gets with the program.
I thought the Emergency that the Pope was so worried about was that Trump caused a hurricane in the Carolina’s because he won’t pay for Global Warming.
He managed to put on a good show in the beginning, but this will be his legacy. Like Hillary, his image will be forever tarnished.
I find it hard to imagine anything which would piss off people more than sexually abusing their children. I am still surprised that parents are not taking violently drastic action against those who abused their children.
I grew up when having a priest or nun in the family was a get out of Hell free card for the entire family. As the required go between for man and G_d they were given special status. It wasn’t about dedication to the church but what they could do for you especially if money was involved. They were holy and given extra leniency. Which seemed the opposite of what it should be. All of that is coming back to haunt the Church.
You got your good popes and you got your really crappy popes.
I think this guy falls into the latter category.
Despite the difficulties, sometimes G_d overruled the Cardinals and got to select the right man for Pope.
C’mon, Pope, you’re losing focus. What’s this got to do with important stuff like climate change?
There will be a great house cleaning with “zeal” when all is said and done. In remembrance of Pope Francis, it will be done with renewable energy like he has never seen before 😉
The church has a long history of being reluctant to admit they are wrong, take Galileo as an example, over 400 years to accept they were wrong.
Have you ever read the archived documents of correspondence between Church officials and Galileo as well as between church officials and some of Galileo’s colleagues in the decades before the trial, as well as documents from the trial itself? I don’t think so. Galileo essentially forced the church’s hand.
First of all, the theory that the solar system was heliocentric, not geocentric, wasn’t Galileo’s but Copernicus’ theory. And Copernicus was also a cleric who had no problems from the church when he published his treatise. In fact, he dedicated his treatise to the Pope as he was far more worried about the reaction form the members of the “scientific” consensus. But then, Copernicus had far more sense than Galileo and taught his theory as just that, theory not fact as he didn’t have the evidence and didn’t demand that the RCC change it’s theology to conform to his theory.
Galileo also didn’t have the evidence. When he published his Treatise on the Two Chief World Systems, do you know what he provided as evidence that the Earth revolved around the Sun? The tides. He compared the tides to a bucket of water suspended below an ox cart or barge bringing fresh water to Venice. Just as the water in the moving vehicles sloshed around, so must the sloshing of the tides mean the Earth was in motion.
It was ridiculous, and everyone at the time knew it was ridiculous. It had long been known that the major influence on the tides was the moon. When Julius Caesar invaded Britain he made detailed observations of the tides in the channel and correlated it to the phases of the moon. Galileo would become cuttingly sarcastic if anyone thought the moon had any effect on the tide. He could, according to his contemporaries, be extremely insulting with people who didn’t agree with him and his theories.
The church was fine with Galileo teaching Copernicus’ theory but not as fact. And he was teaching at a Catholic University. But Galileo didn’t abide by any of his agreements. He taught it as fact, and moreover insisted that the church had to change it’s theology. Cardinal Bellarmine, then head of the church’s Office on the Doctrine of Faith (informally known as the inquisition) had an interesting exchange with a priest who had worked with Galileo. He admitted that the Copernican theory solved a lot of mathematical problems with the Ptolomaic system, and if they could provide proof that the Earth revolved around the Sun they would have to admit that they didn’t properly understand certain passages of the Bible as they couldn’t continue teaching as doctrine something that had been proven false. But he was confident that they couldn’t provide proof. And he was right; every astronomer knew what would provide proof; observable stellar parallax (the stars would appear to change positions relative to each other). No one, not even Galileo, had any idea of the distances involved and his primitive telescopes simply weren’t powerful enough to make that observation. It wasn’t until the 19th century when an astronomer first observed stellar parallax. So Galileo came up with his silly theory about the water in the oceans sloshing around like a bucket of water in an ox cart.
Albert Einstein wrote a forward for a 1952 version of Galileo’s treatise, and although he greatly admired Galileo he observed that Galileo was simply too emotionally involved in the debate or else he never would have advanced such nonsense as proof.
The church indulged Galileo for decades, even when he became an amateur theologian. His treatise was the final straw. At the time he needed to get a license from the RCC to publish his work (at the time the RCC functioned as a sort of National Science Foundation). He violated the terms, as the manuscript he published was different from the one he presented for review. Worse, the individual in his treatise that defended the geocentric system was a barely disguised character that was clearly the Pope. And the name of the character in his treatise was Simplicio, which means simpleton in Italian. And he was selling this book in Rome. It seemed to all observers that this was a deliberate insult aimed at the Pope. The Pope wasn’t just a religious leader but as head of the Papal states he was an earthly prince as well. No prince in Europe, or for that matter in Africa, the Middle East, Japan, etc., would put up with that. So the church put him on trial and convicted him of heresy.
The church had a lot of good astronomers, too. One of them wrote to colleague of Galileo’s and said that if Galileo hadn’t been so stupid he could have published and taught anything he wanted. But Galileo went out of his way to make enemies. And frankly reading the documents Galileo comes across as an arrogant ass, and dishonest as well since he wouldn’t keep his agreements.
You may disagree with the system, but actually Galileo didn’t. He was very much a man of his times. It’s anachronistic to think Galileo would have seen anything wrong with the system. One historian calls it chronological arrogance. The system was fine with him, just as long as those in charge of it made special exceptions for him.
That’s good to know. I assumed Galileo had evidence.
So, you are advocating that Catholic church persecution of Galileo was justified, this in spite of the church admitting otherwise?
On the contrary, more is said than done. In a few years, there’ll be another scandal revealing coverups of pedophilia in the Catholic Church.
On the contrary, more is said than done. In a few years, there’ll be another scandal revealing coverups of pedophilia in the Catholic Church.
Apparently this pope has a history of covering for pedophile priests – going all the way back to Argentina where he tried to influence judges in a case involving a pedophile priest. One wonders just what is in this particular Pope’s past that makes him so quick to ignore or coverup priestly pedophilia.
Apparently Cardinal DiNardo has issues in this area as well, accused of covering for pedophile priests in his diocese.
DiNardo wasn’t in charge of the Houston-Galveston diocese when these assaults are said to have happened. When he found out about the allegations his diocese reported them to CPS. The girl’s family decided not to pursue the matter. It’s a little murkier about the other allegation. It seems the man is just coming forward now. If that’s the case I also agree with DiNardo that the guy should have come forward earlier.
CPS is perfectly capable of reporting these kind of incidents to the police if they suspect a crime has been committed. Apparently nothing came of the investigations. How exactly did DiNardo cover for the priest? And should the diocese have proceeded against the priest as if he were guilty if CPS looked into it and found it was a dry hole?
“The girl’s family decided not to pursue the matter.”
I wonder what kind of pressure was applied to make them accept their child being raped?
Mostly boys. Grooming them to be “men”. Transgender is trending. The Catholic Church needs to stand (a la anti-slavers, anti-diversitists, pro-life), not kneel, on principle. These are human rights violations.
personal experience in the Lost Angels Archdiocese, back in the day:
parish priest that was most insistent i become an altar boy? molester & pervert: he went after boys AND subordinate priests.
high school: PE instructor & cross country coach?
decades of molestation at the school.
somehow i managed to avoid both of them. there was a hand on my shoulder those years, but it wasn’t anyone in clerical garb.
IMHO, this particular pope has done more to delegitimize Christianity among non-believers than any other. The overt politicization of the papacy, the perverse scandals, the coverups ad nauseum, etc..
IIRC, this all started in Portland, Oregon decades ago, with multi-millions in settlements to victims, going back to the 60’s.
Folks like me, who trust Jesus and the Bible, never trusted the Catholic Church, its wealth, its political undertones, or its arrogance.
Every denomination, church, and believer needs to read or re-read the Bible and consider anew that God rules, not men. I would humbly request that non-believers also read the Bible. Spiritual truth is in those pages.
But I don’t think the Catholic Church is much worse than other denominations – Lavender Mafia notwithstanding.
Plenty of “Evangelical Preachers” exploiting their flocks while living in mansions thanks to the donations of the poor.
Sometimes I think Bertrand Russell may have been onto something.
They are far, FAR worse because predatory priests exploit the faith of the good priests to continue.
It’s all in the rules of confession. Church doctrine holds that the confession is involiable.
So if a predatory priest thinks another priest is on to him and will potentially report him, he asks the priest to take his confession and confesses he’s a pedo.
The other priest now CANNOT report him.
It’s disgusting. And pieces of shit like this Pope are more interested in whining about climate change than cleaning up child molesters he is DIRECTLY responsible for.
There is a big difference between shaking down believers for as much money as possible, something which the catholic church does better than any other denomination, but is common with most faiths and stealing children’s innocence. I really thing that rape of children should be a capital offence.
Actually it’s a bad idea to make rape a capitol offense. Some states have tried that and then reversed course. They ended up with rape-murders instead of a rape. The rapist has no incentive to leave the rape victim and probably the only witness alive.
The obama of Popes. What a disaster for the Catholic Church, and Christianity.