It is always hopeful when someone new takes office. We often assume that the new person will be better than the last person, especially in a scandal ridden institution.
But that assumption is reckless. There’s no guarantee that a new person means a new direction.
Our hope is that the new Pope is that he will be bold and courageous in tackling the centuries-old and ongoing abuse and cover up crisis in the church. It’s long-standing, deeply-entrenched and tragically pervasive. Real reform may well take decades.
To help the institution he loves, Pope Benedict resigned. We hope that this pope will take similarly radical steps to protect children.
Actions, not words protect kids. While long on words, apologies and promises, Benedict was short on decisive action. We hope his successor will be different. We strongly urge him to start by harshly disciplining prelates who are enabling or have enabled child molesting clerics, be they priests, nuns, seminarians, bishops or cardinals.
And we urge Catholics to judge him on the concrete steps he may take to stop the abuse and cover-up, not on the vague pledges he may make about the crisis.
We in SNAP will continue to do everything in our power to safeguard children, expose wrongdoing and heal victims. We will keep working to hold those who commit and conceal heinous crimes against children responsible, and see that they are prosecuted and convicted and kept away from kids. We will vigorously push to reform predator friendly abuse laws, so that more wounded victims can warn families and protect kids through the justice system. We beg compassionate and concerned Catholics to join us in this struggle.
No one man caused this crisis; no one man can remedy it either. Every single person who sees, suspects or suffers child sex crimes in the church must report, and preferably to secular authorities, not church figures. Complacency protects no one. Only vigilance protects the vulnerable.
Now whether or not that means he will be a good Pope, I admit I don’t know and I don’t think anyone can really know right now. Time will tell. I agree with what others have said, in that humility does not always translate to good leadership. But, whether or not you are Catholic, what we can do is pray for him that he can guide the Catholic Church in the right direction, protect the children of the Church, and provide good leadership.
Actually, I want to know more about how, (and if ever) while he was archbishop in argentina, he dealt with the REAL existence of priest pedophiles.
Yes, Thom, I too am disappointed with the age of this new Pope.
To David Clohessy,
I want to say that regrettably, it is only now after the election of Archbishop Bergoglio (a selection I find to be very disappointing due to his age), that I realize that neither you, nor any other SNAP members, suggested anyone that they believe would be a good, new Pope.
Darn it! (Perhaps, probably due to having been so bullied over the years since the advent of SNAP in the late 1980’s, we all only thought “defensively”?) In the midst of hurriedly naming those priests who should not be considered and/or allowed to vote, even—-those who should not in fact be elected new Pope, it seems we all “dropped the ball” in taking the opportunity to actually name one or more of those available, that we would like to see made Pope!
Personally, over the years, I have prescribed to the old adage “Be careful what you wish for.”, so, I already learned (I thought) that someone new, is not always necessarily a better result.
As I said, I regret that I didn’t think to ask of you and the other SNAP members there, who would (now I must use the past tense) have been a good priest to recommend to the church, that they should choose.
I am grateful and thankful though, that at least their choice wasn’t any of the priests you and we were worried might be chosen.
Now, I want to ask you, since I haven’t been able to locate anything yet, if you know anything of this new Pope’s actual record of actions regarding the whole priest pedophila chrisis?
I will appreciate any information you can give, regarding this, particularly since I still feel very much on the verge of quitting the church altogether, but wishing I didn’t have to.