Pope Francis hasn't done anything unusual or unexpected in regard to clergy sex abuse

Pope Francis hasn't done anything unusual or unexpected in regard to clergy sex abuse

"He's done something unusual/unexpected practically every day." That’s how an anonymous but high ranking Vatican official describes Pope Francis. 


Except, however, in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. So far in that arena, tragically, we see no changes whatsoever.

Pope Francis is being proclaimed as a master of the touching and unexpected gesture. He’s known for his simple lifestyle, and his openness and willingness to meet with “regular” people by doing things like taking the bus to work.

But the sole gesture he's made regarding the church's central crisis has been a hurtful one: meeting with disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law.


And on the most troubling recent disclosure in the church's central and continuing crisis, he has said nothing. 

We are referring to the February 19 Washington Post article which revealed that a convicted Argentinean priest – Fr. Julio Cesar Grassi – now walks free largely because of then-Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio’s intervention.

Fr. Grassi, who founded the Fundacion Felices los Ninos (“Happy Children”) charity, was later found to be abusing the children there that he was supposed to be helping. However, following his conviction Bergolgio commissioned a report that proclaimed the priest innocent, and has worked to get his conviction overturned. In the meantime, Fr. Grassi still lives across the street from the location where he abused kids.


It's worth noting that Vatican officials have defended Pope Francis' actions during Argentina's 'dirty war.' As they have done for decades, however, those same Vatican officials are saying nothing about Pope's Francis’ actions in Argentinean clergy sex abuse cases.


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  • commented 2013-04-21 12:37:31 -0500
    Re: Was the Jesuit author of the ‘Autobiography’ of Ignatius of Loyola a child abuser?

    Dear Mr. Clohessy,

    I know that your concern is for the the present survivors of abuse by priests, but I have just been shocked to read of a case from the 16th century involving Father Luís Gonçalves da Câmara, an
    important early Jesuit. Church officials today often try to blame abuse cases on influences from the liberalization and secularization of modern society, rather than admitting that what has changed is the risk of exposure. They should be confronted with their history.

    In short:

    Luis Goncalves da Camara was an important early Jesuit, whom Ignatius of Loyola (1491 – 1556) chose to record his personal recollections of his own religious experiences and development in a document that later came to be known as Ignatius’s Autobiography under the title “A Pilgrim’s Journey”.
    A few years later Padre Luís Gonçalves da Câmara became tutor and confessor of Sebastian of Portugal when the future king was a child.


    Today I found on the internet a text of the University of Virginia historian Harold B. Johnson

    “A Pedophile in the Palace: or The Sexual Abuse of King Sebastian of Portugal (1554- 1578)”


    The historian claims and collects evidence in the above quoted essay that Father Luís Gonçalves da Câmara sexually abused the ten year olf Prince Sebastian, infecting him with gonorrhea.

    If true, this is an egregious example of sexual child abuse by a ‘founding father’ of the Jesuit Order.


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