In the Vineyard :: January 29, 2018 :: Volume 18, Issue 2
News from National
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“The fundamental problem is that the church has no process for judging bishops that is transparent and has legitimacy with the public. The bishop may or may not be innocent, but no one will trust a secret process that involves clerics investigating clerics, clerics judging clerics.” (National Catholic Reporter)
The overwhelming consensus in the media is that Pope Francis has a blind spot when it comes to sexual abuse.
Francis’ commitment to abuse survivors in question
“There was great hope that this pope understood — he ‘got it’ — but if that were true we would not have his words today,” said Marie Collins …” (The New York Times)
For years, victims of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and their advocates have asked when Pope Francis would adjust his blind spot on an issue that has caused enormous damage to Catholics, the reputation of the church and the pontiffs who preceded him.
“But there is not one single piece of evidence. It is all slander. Is that clear?” (Pope Francis in The New York Times)
Pope Francis has accused abuse victims in Chile of slandering a bishop who they say protected a pedophile priest, upending his efforts to rehabilitate the Catholic Church’s reputation while visiting South America.
“Francis told reporters Thursday there was not a shred of evidence against Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, who victims of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, Chile’s most notorious priest, have accused of being complicit in his crimes.
“It is the most comprehensive survey of American Catholic women ever conducted.” (America: The Jesuit Review)
Early during his visit to Chile, which began on January 15, Pope Francis met with suvivors of clergy sexual abuse and wept with them over the "irreparable damage they suffered." Later during his journey, he accused survivors of slandering Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, whom he appointed bishop of Osorno in 2015. Bishop Barros had been accused of covering up the sexual abuse of Fr. Fernando Karadima, who was sentenced to a life of prayer and penance by the Vatican in spite of his protests of innocence.
“But his meeting with abuse survivors and comments in his first speech of the day were what many Chileans, incensed by years of abuse scandal and cover-up, were waiting for.” (Associated Press)
“Pope Francis met on Tuesday (Jan. 16) with survivors of priests who sexually abused them, wept with them and apologized for the ‘irreparable damage’ they suffered, his spokesman said.
“The pontiff also acknowledged the ‘pain’ of priests who have been held collectively responsible for the crimes of a few, Vatican spokesman Greg Burke told reporters at the end of the day.