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.


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  • Lani Halter
    commented 2014-03-05 13:51:07 -0600
    March 5, 2014
    Having been a member of SNAP for one year now, and having viewed, read and followed everything that I could about this specific “scandal” in the catholic church, I have decided that my personal current course of action now, is to encourage and “call for” the leaders of SNAP in the United States and those attorneys willingly affliated with SNAP, to please write legal petitions for U.S. members to sign and for them to get signed, that call for a referendum to vote for the abolishment of all SOL laws applied to and regarding crimes committed by pedophiles against children and disabled adults; including but not limited to crimes committed by catholic pedophile priests, heirarchy and laity in the United States and its territories. Please let us do a “grass roots campaign”, via the internet if necessary, as our current president did to get elected; to achieve this very obviously important and necessary change to both our criminal and civil laws. The scourge must be STOPPED! Surely, it must be clear to all of us now, that they, (the pope and all the other leaders of the catholic church), will not do it for us. The scourge must be STOPPED! I believe that the United States of America is a uniquely qualified place to be able to achieve at least this portion of the battle against enabled pedophiles in the catholic church. WE CAN DO IT! WE CAN DO IT HERE!!!
  • Kevin Keough
    commented 2013-12-31 13:38:14 -0600
    It’s very sad that after more than 9 months of becoming the CEO of the Catholic Church Pope Francis has yet to say or do anything consequential about the deepest wound and darkest scandal in the history of the Church. People seem to agree the “panel of experts” appointed to give advice to the Pope re how to handle the scandal (no mention is made about how best to minister to the victims) is worse than nothing. If street-wise Pope Francis really needs a bunch of people to tell him how to “manage” this scandal we’d be better off if he just resigned.

    Sure it’s nice he snubbed two evil men but since when did we become so disillusioned that snubbing vs. harsh punishment of evil men is cause for cautious optimism ? When did we lose our way and find it okay if an evil man gets demoted to being “just a priest” vs. being defrocked and put in prison ? Me thinks the darkness of this darkest hour in Church history has anesthetized us, desensitized us to the point of finding acceptable things we know, in our better moments, to be naked evil and injustice.

    There will be no peace without justice. This is natural law.

    It is important to remember the words Jesus spoke about wolves who would lead astray our children: “It would be better if he tied a millstone around his neck and threw himself into the sea…..”. Sometimes we forget that Jesus could be a very “harsh” man. I believe he spoke these words or very similar ones. I believe he intended people to take literally his advice.

    So if Jesus told people to simply kill themselves rather than (for our purposes) perpetrate the worst kind of evil on our children, maybe we need to adjust our expectations.

    Pope Francis may be winning the hearts and minds of people around the planet. However, I am quite sure Jesus tear apart the “modest living quarters” of Pope Francis with more vengeance than shown to the money changers in the Temple. First, what is so impressive about these “modest living quarters” ? And why make a big fuss about the easy issues being addressed and widely reported by this pope ? Until he acts as Christ would act—-he is just another CEO engaged in managing a scandal vs. ministering to the deepest wounds of innocent victims.

    Man up Pope Francis or do the one good thing your predecessor did and lead by example—-resign and throw yourself into the ocean.

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