Catholic Controversies

More on Pope Francis’ tolerance for Sex Abuse

Noted child protection advocate and attorney Elizabeth Yore reports on Six Cases Where the Sexual Abuse Scandal Touches Pope Francis.   What these cases seem to have in common is NOT any predatory behavior by the Pope himself. God forbid. But, he seems to be covering for clerics who are connected to him, even while he vigorously  criticizes the Church in general for laxity on clergy sex abuse.

don-mercedes
“Don Mercedes” defrocked by Benedict, resurrected under Francis.

Attorney Yore recounts these six cases:

1. The Fr. Inzoli case: Shocking papal intervention on behalf of a sexual predator. 

This is the one I reported on earlier

2. The sex abuse victims of the Argentina/Italy Provolo Institute for Deaf and Mute

at least 60 students of the Provolo Institute in Argentina have come forward seeking justice for the abuse they say they suffered at the hands of the accused men. Read about the school of horrors hereunlike many of the cases, this one includes the abuse of girls, as well as boys. 

3. Belgian Cardinal Danneels 

cardinal-godfried_danneels
Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels

In 2010, Belgian Cardinal Godfried Danneels was caught on tape attempting to cover up years of abuse involving his close friend and fellow bishop, Roger Vangheluwe, then-Bishop of Bruges. The victim on the 2010 tape was Bishop Vangheluwe’s nephew. Cardinal Danneels was brought out of retirement to attend both Synods on the family. Here is an appalling comparison of the kid-glove treatment of Danneels with the draconian treatment of (former) Kansas City Bishop Robert Finn. 

4. Honduran Cardinal Maradiaga

This one may not be entirely fair: he doesn’t appear to have done anything wrong, or covered for anyone. Yore includes him because he seems not to take abuse cases seriously. However, one cannot deny that:

Shortly after his election as Pope, Francis named Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as the head of the C9, the newly created Papal Cabinet of Cardinals. As head of the C9, Maradiaga is sometimes dubbed the “vice pope.”

5. Chilean Cardinal Errazuriz

After the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found Chilean priest-predator Fr. Karadima guilty of sexual abuse of minors, Pope Francis appointed Karadima’s bishop, Chilean Cardinal Errázuriz, to his powerful Council of Cardinals (C9).  …

The Karadima appeals judge criticized Cardinal Errázuriz for not acting on the Karadima allegations for years, and protecting a sexual predator of children.

According to another report on the Karadima case:

Karadima has become a symbol of the Vatican soft-glove punishment style and of how civil statutes of limitations prevent authorities from prosecuting sexual criminals in the church…. Last year, Francis named Cardinal Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Karadima’s most powerful defender, as one of eight cardinals on the commission advising him on Vatican reforms. Errázuriz refused to act on a victim’s allegations in 2003, telling the priest not to worry, according to news accounts and legal testimony.

6. Chilean Bishop Barros

In March 2015, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Juan Barros to lead the Diocese of Osorno, Chile.  The Fr. Karadima sex abuse victims and Osorno Catholics were furious over this papal selection because of Bishop Barros’ long association with Fr. Karadima. The priest-predator was in fact a longtime mentor to Barros.

benedict-xvi
Pope Benedict’s legacy: defrocking over 800 priests for child sex abuse.

What does this all add up to? A Pope with poor judgment? A Pope with lousy friends, and misplaced loyalty to them?

Meanwhile, let us not forget that Pope Benedict defrocked a record number of predatory priests. 

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