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.
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.