A tiny ray of hope, finally, from Pope Francis
Finally, finally, there’s a tiny, tiny ray of hope with this pope and the abuse/cover up crisis.
It’s not his signs of humility.
It’s not his compassionate words.
It’s not his touching gestures.
It’s his ever-so-slight snub of two dreadfully corrupt prelates – Cardinal Raymond Burke and Cardinal Justin Rigali.
Pope Francis hasn’t denounced, disciplined, demoted or defrocked either of them, though their incredibly irresponsible actions in dozens and dozens of predator priest cases certainly warrant such moves.
But the pontiff has declined to re-appoint them to the Congregation for Bishops, which helps select bishops throughout the world
That’s a tiny, tiny step in the right direction.
But the pope needs to punish – not just snub – those who are reckless in clergy sex cases, not just pompous in their own demeanor.
He needs to penalize those who are “outliers” in child protection, not “outliers” in clergy attire.
And he needs to do it publicly– so it may have a deterrent effect. That’s what’s long been missing – harsh, clear church-imposed consequences for those who put kids in harm’s way.
Time and time again, Pope Benedict put the hammer down on those who dissented from official church theology. Time and time again, Pope Francis must put the hammer down on those who dissent from common sense children’s safety measures.
Rigali’s heinous cover ups of clergy sex crimes are best outlined in the three horrific grand juries reports in Philly (though he also concealed horrific sexual violence while he worked in St. Louis too).
Burke’s heinous cover ups of clergy sex crimes in St. Louis are outlined here:
His similarly disturbing track record in Wisconsin is outlined here:
We look forward to the day when they and their complicit colleagues (starting with convicted Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City) are bumped down to just being priests – or being defrocked entirely – because they knowingly protected their own reputations and endangered their flocks’ safety.
NOTE – as best we can tell, Burke is still pushing for sainthood for a priest who concealed crimes by Mother Teresa’s confessor, the now-convicted and imprisoned Fr. Donald McGuire.