Pope says Vatican abuse summit damaged the Church’s credibility

Pope says Vatican abuse summit damaged the Church’s credibility February 27, 2019
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NO, not that Pope, but a Catholic priest in Washington DC called Msgr Charles Pope who is disappointed that recently-concluded ‘Protection of Minors in the Church’ summit signally failed to trash gay priests.

Writing for the National Catholic Register, Pope said that he’d hoped that three things would be discussed to restore the credibility of the Church:

1. The summit must focus on more than the sexual abuse of minors by clergy – it must also address the sexual abuse of vulnerable or subordinate adults.

2. The summit must speak to the link between homosexuality and sexual abuse by clergy.

3. The summit must establish a way forward to establishing greater accountability for bishops.

Of the three, he said only the last was addressed.

What seems to upset him most was the failure to address issue No 2:

Regarding the second point, the silence – even outright refusal to discuss – the clear connection between the sexual abuse crisis and active homosexuality in the priesthood is a severe blow to credibility.

That Cardinal Blase Cupich, a key organizer of the summit, denies a causal relationship between homosexual clergy and the fact that more than 80 percent of the victims have been post-pubescent males is not credible to most Catholics. There is simply no logical basis for such a claim, except perhaps among LBGTQ ideologues.

While this should not be used to rationalize the demonization of all people suffering from same-sex attraction, neither should we miss the opportunity to assess the data honestly and develop sane policies in response. In less politically-charged moments, Pope Francis has said as much.

A summit purporting to address the sexual abuse of minors that ignores the high correlation between homosexual attraction and sexual abuse by clergy has no more credibility than a summit on lung cancer that ignores the link to smoking. Not only does this glaring omission strain the credibility of the conference, it makes its deliberations and conclusions seem largely irrelevant.

He concluded:

While not surprised at the outcome of the summit, I am disappointed … The Catholic faithful are justified in being dismayed at the lackluster results coming from this much-trumpeted gathering.

In the days and weeks to come, we will see whether there will be a fiery response from the faithful or, as some Church leaders seem to hope, the storm just blows over. I would ask any Church leader who is so hoping to ponder the sound of church doors and consider the likelihood that they will be opening more as people exit than as they enter.

Lying low and waiting for the storm to pass ignores the damage it leaves behind – the victims, to be sure, but also a dispirited laity who no longer find credibility in many of their leaders.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Graham Martin-Royle

    RC priests are meant to be celibate so they don’t need their testicles. May I suggest that when they are ordained, as a part of the ceremony they should also be castrated. This should remove any urges to engage in sex of any kind which would solve a lot of problems.

  • Tawreos

    This guys reaction is exactly why the summit had no real substance to it. The church had many people floating the idea that homosexuals were to blame for the problem and it seems that a majority of catholics bought that so they had no reason to have any meaningful progress at the summit. 6 months ago the American bishops wanted to have a summit to discuss what to do in America and the pope told them to wait. He wanted to see if a summit that accomplished anything was really necessary. Turns out, it wasn’t. The church isn’t interested in fixing the problem because they were able to fix the blame on a group they have demonized for years.

  • Raging Bee

    Regarding the second point, the silence – even outright refusal to discuss – the clear connection between the sexual abuse crisis and active homosexuality in the priesthood is a severe blow to credibility.

    Right — the Church damaged its own credibility by not bashing gays enough, even though girls and nuns were also abused by priests.

    That Cardinal Blase Cupich, a key organizer of the summit, denies a causal relationship between homosexual clergy and the fact that more than 80 percent of the victims have been post-pubescent males is not credible to most Catholics.

    Ah yes, the “post-pubescent males” angle — setting up at least some of the victims to take a huge portion of the blame, on the grounds that they were “more sexual” than children.

    While this should not be used to rationalize the demonization of all people suffering from same-sex attraction, neither should we miss the opportunity to assess the data honestly and develop sane policies in response. In less politically-charged moments, Pope Francis has said as much.

    Translation: “We know we shouldn’t be demonizing and scapegoating gay people, but we can’t possibly pass up this opportunity to demonize and scapegoat gay people!”

  • Raging Bee

    Agreed…but do we really have any reason to believe the US Bishops would have done any better on their own?

  • WallofSleep

    It’s been shown that castration of any kind does not curb sexual predation. The only thing it prevents is the use of that person’s junk in the abuse.

  • Raging Bee

    You may suggest it. And now that you’ve suggested it, you may fuck off.

  • Robert McLean

    Does this mob of crooks look hard for complete idiots to join its ranks? “Suffering from a same sex attraction” is a whole lot more attractive than suffering, choosing to suffer, living within the confines of an iron age biblical bullshit morality and in silly costumes, pretending to be cannibals? This mob of crooks is making no attempt to appear as civilised individuals.

  • Tawreos

    That they may have could be the reason the pope asked them to wait. That is just speculation though. We’ll never know now.

  • Matt G

    You don’t have to be an asshole to be a priest, but it doesn’t hurt.

  • Graham Martin-Royle

    It was a tongue in cheek suggestion. Not only did I never expect it to be taken seriously, I also knew that having testicles or not had no bearing on abuse. Still, at least your response shows some thought unlike the only other response which just shows immaturity.

  • Broga

    They should address the credibility of what they insist are facts: virgin birth, mother impregnated by a god who is also the child he fathers, walking on water.

  • Milo C

    people suffering from same-sex attraction,” People don’t suffer from same-sex attraction, they suffer from bigotry and bad theology.

  • WallofSleep

    Well now I feel silly. I’m going to fall back on the excuse that I’m not familiar with you.

  • HematitePersuasion

    The only issue worth discussing was accountability. The crime of the RCC was not raping children; that was the crime of those within the RCC. The crime of the RCC was covering up the rapes, and protecting the rapists.

  • Syzygy

    What credibility?

  • Judgeforyourself37

    For years I have wondered how any intelligent, educated and still cogent human being could be a Roman Catholic? Think about it, folks, how can supposedly celibate males possibly know what it is like to be married and working hard to support their family? A couple who are working at low wage jobs may not have the money to have a child and may opt to be childless. A couple whose family histories include alcoholism, Type 1 diabetes, congenital heart issues, and cancer may opt to be childless. A couple working at low wage jobs, and cannot take the time to obtain additional schooling may opt to have one child and no more. Who are celibate men to berate them for their decisions??
    An old friend, who was Catholic said this to me, “When the priest comes to my door with a check for two million dollars, then I will have more than the two children that I already have.” People, sensible people, only have the number of children that they can afford.
    Another couple, who are our age, many years ago opted to adopt one child. Why? The woman had two miscarriages and nearly died due to hypertension and eclampsia after the last miscarriage. She was an ardent Catholic and “confessed” to the priest that her husband had a vasectomy so they would have no children but had adopted a son. The priest berated her saying, “I will not give either of you absolution, as there is no better way to die, than bearing a child!” Needless to say this couple became Protestants, and asked us the best Protestant Church and we told them the UCC.
    The Roman Catholic Church along with the UMC, when it, once again said that people who happen to be LBGTQAI could not have full inclusion in that church. Full inclusion means the right to marry in the UMC and be ordained in the UMC. I am sure that other churches have their heads up their proverbial asses, too!

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Hey, it sounds like a good plan to me. What do they need testicles for? At least they can still pee standing up.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    They would not get any woman pregnant if they were castrated. The Irish orphanages and many here in the US have children whose fathers were priests!

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Please think about what you said, it does not make sense. The RCC has absolutely NO credibility. Anyone who truly acts on their tenets, set up by celibates, or supposed celibates, has wasted their education if they graduated college. No normal couple, today, has more children than they can afford to raise. I know numerous members of the RCC and they have the following: No children, two children, maybe three children. I know a couple of others who have five, six and seven children, and are having a very difficult time supporting them. Some use WIC, SNAP (aka Food Stamps), Medicaid, and Section 8 Housing. These programs are supported by the tax dollars of those of us who have limited their families.

  • Judgeforyourself37

    Milo, you are correct, 100% correct. People are born as they are, I am heterosexual and cannot change, even if I prayed to be “gay,” so why would I expect someone to “pray” to become heterosexual if they were gay, lesbian, transgender, queer, or intersex?

  • Judgeforyourself37

    If they believe that tale I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I would sell to them. Come now folks, if your daughter came home, told you that she was pregnant but that she never, ever had sex, would you believe her??? No, you knew that she had sex! Jesus, whoever he was, was born just as you and I were born, because our parent,. whether they were married or not, had sex!
    Oh, yes, the UMC is insisting on “Celibacy Until Marriage.” Yeah, right! Since when was that EVER the norm? It certainly is not now, with young people who have to graduate from college. Quite honestly celibacy prior to marriage was never the norm. Which leads me to the conclusion, one I concluded many years ago, churches have their proverbial heads up their collective asses.

  • HFR

    We in Australia have just convicted the third highest ranking Catholic in the world, Cardinal Pell for sexually abusing children in his care on 5 charges. Unbelievable the extreme right, 2 former Prime Ministers, Howard and Abbott and many of the disgusting Murdoch media attack dogs, have defended and are supporting this convicted child abuser. The entire country is disgusted with the extreme right and have a new word in our lexicon, they are now named them Pellophiles.

  • HematitePersuasion

    I am not speaking about the generally toxic ideology masquerading as theology; I am talking about covering up and protecting persons who raped children in the context of the RCC’s current scandals. Although discussing the original crimes has a certain salacious appeal — there is no question who is responsible for those offenses: those who committed them.

    By focusing on those crimes and criminals, the RCC seeks to avoid its culpability in silencing the victims, ignoring the crimes, and enabling the perpetrators.

    I appreciate your response, but I do not see the connection to my comment.