Let’s be clear – this is not an anti-Catholic diatribe. It is an effort to look at the facts behind a vast and troubling crisis that has been festering in the Roman Catholic church for decades. This business of sexually preying on children by members of the church has got to stop. But first, there needs to be some understanding of what has gone on, what has been permitted, what has been swept under the rug, and why.
To grasp the enormity of this issue, one need only look as far as The National Catholic Register to see what those within the confines of the church are saying. Register publisher Michael Warsaw penned an article entitled, “A Scandal of Silence: The Church Needs Swift Action and Purification.” It is worth reading a few of his salient points:
“By now, you have seen accounts and excerpts from the Aug. 14 Pennsylvania grand jury report on the scourge of sexual abuse of minors that covers six dioceses over 70 years and reveals accusations of 300 priests having sexually abused 1,000 children.
Like you, I am appalled, angry and saddened that clergy would violate their vocations and the innocence of so many young people. The report also contended that many of the bishops of those dioceses systematically covered up much of the abuse.”
As with most scandals of this type, they can be boiled down to just a few simple points: One – the crime is one thing, but the cover-up is another. And two – that the fish rots from the head down. Somebody, somewhere must take responsibility, or to paraphrase Harry Truman: Where does the buck stop?
Vatican Insider Tells All
As Pope Francis treks across the world in his pope-mobile on a supposed apology tour, Rome is on fire. Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò has all but laid to waste the Pope’s feckless apology: “… we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives,” said Francis in his “Letter to the People of God.” But that doesn’t come close to getting to the bottom of this lewd and disgraceful scandal. In an 11-page letter, the good Archbishop said that church officials have known about and covered up D.C. archbishop Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s criminal activities. In other words, this is not news inside the Vatican – it’s merely seeping out to the laity now.
While Viganò did not offer any proof of his allegations, his comments have that certain je ne sais quoi of truth. After all, he was in a position to know and has nothing to gain by laying his church to waste. Perhaps this is the reason Viganò’s letter sent shockwaves through Rome. Indeed it is a scathing indictment of the cover-up. So that’s all one needs to know regarding point one in this little Epistle about the Roman Catholic crisis.
Now regarding point two – the fish rotting from the head down: We know that all this didn’t start under Pope Francis. But he could have ended it. And that, dear readers, is the crux of the matter. There is just no way in hell that someone ascends to the top of the Vatican without at least some knowledge of perverts like McCarrick and their criminal behavior.
The Pope could have ridden in on his high moral horse and said, “There is cancer upon this rock of St. Peter, and it’s time for an exorcism.” He could also have looked deeper into the inquiries designed to clean up the hell-hole that’s been dug by these deviant priests. Better, he could have forced the church to come clean and kick out the depraved.
But he did none of this.
Pope Francis did not rip off the band-aid. He merely waited and remained silent. While it’s not in the Holy Scriptures, surely the Pope has heard of the Edmund Burke quote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Considering the Pope’s ecclesiastical jurisdiction, his apostolic succession, and the etymological meaning of his title as “father,” Francis has a high and holy calling to do better. Otherwise, as Burke so aptly says, evil triumphs.