Pope Names New Cardinals, Some Undeserving of the Honor

Among the 13 men promoted by Pope Francis to the coveted role of Cardinal is a man who once compared calls for reform in the Catholic Church to the Holocaust and another who was once held in contempt of court for failing to provide the medical records of a child abuser.

Pope Francis often speaks with purple prose about the need to end the scourge of clergy abuse and better protect children in the Church, but these recent elevations show that his actions belie his words. By promoting to Cardinal a man who once whined that “accusations against the pope and the Catholic church in the sex abuse scandal” were akin “to ‘collective violence’ suffered by the Jews,” Pope Francis demonstrates that his commitment to child protection is only skin deep. It is hard to trust that Father Raniero Cantalamessa, who believes that the calls for the resignations of men who allowed children to be abused is similar to the genocide of a people, will take seriously allegations of child abuse in the future.

Similarly, by elevating Archbishop Wilton Gregory to the role of Cardinal, Pope Francis sends the message that fealty to the Church and its secrets is more important than cooperating with secular authorities to root out abusers and keep children safe. Since Archbishop Gregory has openly defied secular courts in the past and been repeatedly promoted despite this, we believe that other up-and-coming prelates in the Church will recognize that his bad example leads to rewards and promotions.

The elevation of these two men sends a chilling message for future child protection efforts. More than ever, it is clear that if we want to end the scourge of Catholic clergy abuse, it will have to come from outside involvement and not from Catholic leadership.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, zhiner@snapnetwork.org)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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