Category Archives: Pope Francis

Pope Francis covered up for bishop who had gay porn on his phone, Vatican journalist says

If the shoe fits . . . 

A prominent Vatican journalist has accused Pope Francis of covering up for an Argentine bishop who had gay porn on his phone.

Inés San Martin, who is one of the most respected journalists in the Vatican press corps, asked Archbishop Charles Scicluna at a press conference after the abuse summit: “We know there is a bishop in Argentina, Zanchetta, who had gay porn on his phone involving young people.

More:

“How can we believe that this is in fact the last time we’re going to hear ‘no more cover-ups’ when at the end of the day, Pope Francis covered up for someone in Argentina who had gay porn involving minors?

“How can we believe that this is going to change now?”

Followed by fumbling:

Archbishop Scicluna appeared to be taken aback by the question, responding: “Well I’ll quote what the Holy Father said this morning about the law. About the case, I’m not, I’m not, you know, I’m not authorised… I mean, yeah.”

And then, putting a stop to the whole thing:

Vatican interim press office director Alessandro Gisotti then cut off Archbishop Scicluna’s response, saying that questions about specific cases were not permitted.

It’s how it’s done in an organization pledged to openness.

For specifics on the Argentinian . . . 

 

 

No rest for the . . . Holy Father!

L’affaire Zanchetta:

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis may have wrapped up his clergy sex abuse prevention summit at the Vatican, but a scandal over an Argentine bishop close to him is only gaining steam.

The Associated Press has reported that the Vatican knew as early as 2015 about Bishop Gustavo Zanchetta’s inappropriate behavior with seminarians. Yet he was allowed to stay on as bishop of the northern Argentine diocese of Oran on until 2017, when he resigned suddenly, only to be given a top job at the Vatican by Francis, his confessor.

New documents published by the Tribune of Salta newspaper show that the original 2015 complaint reported that Zanchetta had gay porn on his cellphone involving “young people” having sex, as well as naked images of Zanchetta masturbating that he sent to others.

Francis is carrying that “Who am I to judge?” business too far, it seems.

But you promised, Pope Francis . . .

. . . there would be something concrete!

On the first day of the summit Thursday, the pope fed hopes for concrete reforms when he gave bishops guidelines for discussion that suggested a code of conduct and the involvement of laity in their oversight.

There were speeches:

. . . three full days of televised speeches from bishops, laywomen, and a Nigerian nun who denounced the bishops for their “mediocrity, hypocrisy and complacency” in handling sex abuse.

Hopes sprang, as for . . . .

. . . a new Vatican office dedicated to policing misconduct by the hierarchy. Others wanted the pope to put “zero tolerance” into canon law and bring the world-wide church into line with the small number of national bishops’ conferences that require all clerical sex abusers who are convicted in church trials be removed permanently from ministry.

Alas, he couldn’t bring himself to do either . . .

‘The pope ignored them’: Alleged abuse of deaf children on two continents points to Vatican failings

You don’t have to go to the blogs for this story.

LUJAN DE CUYO, Argentina — When investigators swept in and raided the religious Antonio Provolo Institute for the Deaf, they uncovered one of the worst cases yet among the global abuse scandals plaguing the Catholic Church: a place of silent torment where prosecutors say pedophiles preyed on the most isolated and submissive children.

The scope of the alleged abuse was vast. Charges are pending against 13 suspects; a 14th person pleaded guilty to sexual abuse, including rape, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The case of the accused ringleader — an octogenarian Italian priest named Nicola Corradi — is set to go before a judge next month.

Corradi was spiritual director of the school and had a decades-long career spanning two continents. And so his arrest in late 2016 raised an immediate question: Did the Catholic Church have any sense that he could be a danger to children?

Yes.

The answer, according to a Washington Post investigation that included a review of court and church documents, private letters, and dozens of interviews in Argentina and Italy, is that church officials up to and including Pope Francis were warned repeatedly and directly about a group of alleged predators that included Corradi.

Yet they took no apparent action against him. [emphasis added]

Shame!

“I want Pope Francis to come here, I want him to explain how this happened, how they knew this and did nothing,” a 24-year-old alumna of the Provolo Institute said, using sign language as her hands shook in rage. She and her 22-year-old brother, who requested anonymity to share their experiences as minors, are among at least 14 former students who say they were victims of abuse at the now-shuttered boarding school in the shadow of the Andes.

No “field hospital” attitudes here:

Vulnerable to the extreme, the deaf students tended to come from poor families that fervently believed in the sanctity of the church. Prosecutors say the children were fondled, raped, sometimes tied up and, in one instance, forced to wear a diaper to hide the bleeding. All the while, their limited ability to communicate complicated their ability to tell others what was happening to them. Students at the school were smacked if they used sign language. One of the few hand gestures used by the priests, victims say, was an index figure to lips — a demand for silence.

“They were the perfect victims,” said Gustavo Stroppiana, the chief prosecutor in the case.

“The Vatican declined to comment on a detailed list of questions.”   . . . .

McCarrick Protégé Cardinal Kevin Farrell Given Key Vatican Position

Another case of Francis’ tin ear, blind eye, whatever, to prelates of shady pasts?

“It is absolutely staggering that Pope Francis would appoint a man like Cardinal Farrell to manage the administration of the Holy See in the interim between the pope’s death and the next conclave,” Hichborn said. “Cardinal Farrell made the incredible claim that he was ‘shocked’ by accusations against Cardinal McCarrick, with whom he had lived for six years.

Worse still is that Cdl. Farrell seems to have lied about his connection with notorious homosexual abuser, Fr. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. Someone this close to the homosexual cabal that is rumored to have been the cause of Pope Benedict’s resignation doesn’t belong anywhere near the position of Camerlengo, let alone even in the Curia.”

Pattern here, of course.

The Pope: Do not remain prisoners of ideas, open yourselves to new things

Consider your bicycle.

In Santa Marta [his Vatican City house], Francis warns against the risk of “rigidity”, “There are those who ‘distill’ the law and transform it into ideology”. “The Church is like a bike in equilibrium, if it stops it falls down”

It’s his pitch for an ever-changing church. All is flux to Francis? Like Heraclitus, who was active around 500 B.C. and is . . . 

. . . best known for his doctrines that things are constantly changing (universal flux), that opposites coincide (unity of opposites), and that fire is the basic material of the world.

The exact interpretation of these doctrines is controversial, as is the inference often drawn from this theory that in the world as Heraclitus conceives it contradictory propositions must be true.

We sincerely hope not, though Francis has an oracular way about him and as quick a draw of a metaphor as we have seen for a long time, in or out of papal office. But what of this?

. . . the Pontiff warns against the risk of “rigidity”, which leads to placing oneself at the center and thus remain untouched before the works of the Holy Spirit and insensitive to new things.

Well, it’s a generic enough statement. And who wants to be rigid? But can it be that he’s gone oracular again, using a phrase familar to him:

The doctors of the law [not found in John 8: 51-59, his text for the day], [he said]. . .  were incapable of “discerning the signs of the times”.

Oh.

They were slaves of words and ideas, Bergoglio [in an Italian publication, where familiarity breeds if not contempt, then a shorthand usage which we Americans eschew] observes in his homily reported by Vatican News.

“Slaves of words and ideas.” Red lights flashing. Slaves. What’s worse?

“They keep going back to the same questions [we’re dying to know some of these, but he’s holding back about it], they are incapable of leaving that closed world, they are prisoners of ideas.

We get it. And we will figure out what those ideas are, don’t worry.

They received a law that was life but they “distilled” it, they transformed it into ideology and thus they toss and turn it and are unable to move beyond. Anything new for them is a threat.”

These are people in a bad way. Let us not be deceived by them. But tell us, Francis, who they are. Please.

Now as a matter of fact, someone has ventured in that very direction. He is the noted “Fr. Z,” Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, regarding a March, 2015 homily. in which he offered a comment, “a snip from an off-the-cuff, non-Magisterial remark,” in which Francis spoke “disparaging words about ‘doctors of the law.’”

Someting was missing, he thought. The very thing I am wondering:

. . . it seems to me that he has set up a straw man: who the heck are these “doctors of the law” whom he has been disparaging with some frequency?

I think he means those who argue that people who are divorced and civilly remarried should not be admitted to Holy Communion because they are objectively living in a state that is inconsistent with our understanding of the Eucharist.

But he won’t come out and say so. It’s not what you want in a homily anyhow, hearing about someone the homilist resents. But Francis does it a lot. He did it in 2015, he did it just the other day.

It’s unseemly. His objectors have registered “dubia,” roughly doubts, about Francis’ read on the state of things as regards marriage the sacrament. He feels put upon but does not answer these “doubts,” these requests for clarification. Why the heck not?

Who knows?

via The Pope: not to remain prisoners of ideas, let’s open ourselves to new things – La Stampa

Who is Francis to judge, anyhow?

At 27% of Dictator Pope, I find this about the gay lobby, its main agenda, and The Pope Who Can:

The wider significance of this infiltration is that the homosexual lobby is working to change the Church’s moral teaching in its own interest, and it has come into its own with the liberalising tendency introduced by Pope Francis.

For example, Archbishop Bruno Forte wrote for the Synod on the Family in 2014 the text which attempted to relax Catholic teaching on homosexuality. His text was rejected by the Synod, but not for any lack of effort on Pope Francis’s part to advance the liberalising cause.

Perhaps an even more scandalous case is that of Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, who, incredibly, is President of the Pontifical Council for the Family and whom Pope Francis has recently made President of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family, the body which John Paul intended as the watchdog of the Church’s teaching.

Colonna, Marcantonio. The Dictator Pope (Kindle Locations 905-911). Kindle Edition.

Hit job? That would be to dismiss the book’s connecting dots on dozens of published sources. If it’s a case for the prosecution, it’s a strong one.

Trying to understand Pope Francis

Try this: He’s a romantic, lives by the metaphor, mounts gut-level responses, which he glorifies to the detriment, alas, of the rational. It’s a common failing, from which many suffer and, alas, which many celebrate.

He’s in harsh denial of the rational, which he has seen up close and rejected, and by which he is horrified. Has hardened his heart and mind to it. Which explains his abhorrence of the Cardinal Sarah silence doctrine, as in Sarah’s book and (especially) in his promotion of more silence in the mass, for which he received a papal talking-to.

Francis is not interested in that sort of discipline, cares only (or much more) about action, and even the inoffensive Cardinal Mueller, non-renewed as head of the doctrine commission, offends him, exemplifying (he and Sarah) all from which Francis is desperately in flight.

There. It’s a try.

Today’s Catholic liturgy “is sick,” says cardinal in charge

He is Robert Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, appointed in 2014 by Pope Francis. His book is

From which I quote:

[C]elebrations [of the mass] become tiring because they unfold in noisy chattering. The liturgy is sick. The most striking symptom . . .  is perhaps the omnipresence of the microphone. It has become so indispensable that one wonders how priests were able to celebrate before it was invented. . . . I sometimes have the impression that celebrants fear the free, personal interior prayer of the faithful so much that they talk from one end of the ceremony to the other so as not to lose control of them.

They certainly are loathe to let the air go dead. It’s as if they were on radio, rather than TV, though for that matter, TV announcers do jabber away. But you don’t need the sound while watching he World Series in a bar.

Do not presume that the cardinal is breaking new ground for himself (or others, such as James Hitchcock in his Recovery of the Sacred). He has set liberal hearts pulsing with alarm in numerous public statements to this effect. But this new book of his has some choice descriptions, as in this about participating in the liturgy as urged by Vatican II:

Truly, it is about becoming participants in a sacred mystery that infinitely surpasses us: the mystery of the death of Jesus out of love for the Father and for us. Christians have the . . . obligation to be open to an act that is so mysterious that they will never be able to perform it by themselves: the sacrifice of Christ. In the thought of the [Vatican II] Council Fathers, the liturgy is a divine action, an actio Christi. In the presence of it, we are overcome with a silence of admiration and reverence. [Struck dumb, as it were.] The quality of our silence is the measure of the quality of our . . . participation. [Huge departure here from current practice]

All in all, in this passage as throughout the book, he strikes a spiritual note. He is, I have concluded, of the spiritual wing of the church, as opposed to the social action wing led by (whom else?) Pope Francis, with whom he is on a collision course, to judge by several well publicized incidents and several major controverted issues.

He quotes then-Cardinal Ratzinger in a 1985 book, “[Some have lost] sight of what is distinctive to the liturgy, which does not come from what we do but from the fact that something is taking place here that all of us together cannot ‘make’.”

Idea is, we go to church (mass) not to do something but to witness it. It’s a happening, and a quite mysterious one at that.

The late Robert McClory, in his Radical Disciple: Father Pfleger, St. Sabina Church, and the Fight for Social Justicecites a St. Sabina parishioner on Chicago’s South Side who supported what its famous activist pastor, Fr. Michael Pfleger, does but stopped attending mass there, going to another parish. McClory couldn’t get much more out of the man, who apparently wanted something more rewarding in a personal-spiritual sense.

So I concluded, anyhow, having participated in one of Fr. Pfleger’s three-hour liturgies and found it fascinating but hardly something that would keep me going on an apostolic venture — or on the humdrum daily fulfilling of the duties of my state of life.

More later from the book on silence by the cardinal who speaks up when he thinks it’s important.

The pope’s a player, with a lot to lose

Francis doesn’t see himself that way. He’s more Ben Carson than Donald Trump. But he’s in it deeply.

Pope Francis is becoming an aggressive public player in secular politics, from the environment to economic policy. That carries risks, not for Francis alone, but for the papacy and the institution the pope leads.

Big problem there. He’s betting the farm, which isn’t his to bet.

The day before Pope Francis met with Mr. Obama, one of the president’s aides, Ben Rhodes, said: “How can we make use of the enormous platform that the pope’s visit provides to lift up the work we’re doing and demonstrate how it’s consistent with the direction that’s coming from the pope?” At the White House, Pope Francis praised Mr. Obama’s climate-change initiatives, and the president thanked the pope for supporting his policies on that and his opening to Cuba.

Brothers in Christ? Not quite, but consider this:

It is not possible to do this [exchange encomiums with
one of the big guys] and be “above” politics. Everyone in politics is one of the boys, including the pope.+

And your people have to be dragged along with you:

In Cuba, when the pope’s spokesman, Rev. Federico Lombardi, was asked if Pope Francis knew that 50 dissidents had been arrested, he said: “I don’t have any information about this.” Embarrassing bunk is standard for the Josh Earnests of the world. It should not become so for the pope’s spokesman.

With unforeseen consequences galore:

On one hand, Francis is amenable to being photographed smiling and squeezing hands with Fidel Castro, a decades-long oppressor of his nation’s Catholics. But then the Vatican objects that the pope might be photographed with a famous pro-abortion nun invited by the White House. Barack Obama plays hardball. His Justice Department had already sued the anti-abortion Little Sisters of the Poor.

Whom he unexpectedly visited, true, in a distinctly muted show of support in their battle with one of his new best friends. He has his priorities:

In the past two years, the plight of Christians in the Middle East has gone from persecution to slaughter. Decades of Vatican diplomacy there for the world’s most at-risk Christians has produced very little. Soon there may be nothing left to protect. On Friday, the pope reportedly will address the U.N. about climate change. A jeremiad against Christian extermination would be welcome this week, too.

His new friends use him.

What many of his new political friends mainly seek is to have the pope “moralize” their politics. Francis’ spiritual message could not be more secondary. They won’t be with him in Philadelphia. How allowing the papacy’s core moral authority to be politicized is in the interests of the Catholic Church as an institution is difficult to see.

Very difficult.

Later:

Maybe the Little Sisters visit means more than a nod in the right direction.

“What a huge boon to Catholic educators who yearn for relief from the Obama administration’s HHS mandate and protection of their First Amendment rights. This brings attention to the case that represents not only the Little Sisters but so many of us whose rights are denied,” said [Patrick] Reilly [president of the Obama-fighting Cardinal Newman Society].
Than again, probably not. Can we imagine Obama feeling pressured (or much less, inspired) by the Pope, him of the photo-op potential?
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