Pope uttered same old hogwash at Vatican’s four-day abuse summit

Pope uttered same old hogwash at Vatican’s four-day abuse summit February 25, 2019

‘RECYCLED rhetoric’ was the actual phrase used at the conclusion of the summit this week by Anne Barrett Doyle, co-founder of Bishop Accountability, which tracks clergy sex abuse cases, but we all know that that means.

Image via YouTube

Doyle, above, told the Guardian:

I am utterly stunned. The Pope has undone the tiny bit of progress that possibly was achieved this week. He was defensive, rationalising that abuse happens in all sectors of society. Ironically and sadly, he exhibited no responsibility, no accountability and no transparency.

She is one of many activists for survivors of clerical sexual abuse who reportedly reacted with fury after Pope Francis failed to promise a “zero tolerance” approach to paedophile priests and the bishops who cover up their crimes as he closed a landmark summit at the Vatican.

Although he vowed that the Roman Catholic church would “spare no effort” to bring abusers to justice and would not cover up or underestimate abuse, a significant part of the his closing speech emphasised that Catholic priests were far from being the sole abusers of children.

Citing data, he said that the majority of cases arose within families and that the perpetrators of abuse were:

Primarily parents, relatives, husbands of child brides and teachers.

He also said that online pornography and sex tourism exacerbated the problem.

Our work has made us realise once again that the gravity of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors is, and historically has been, a widespread phenomenon in all cultures and societies. I am reminded of the cruel religious practice, once widespread in certain cultures, of sacrificing human beings – frequently children – in pagan rites.

Oh, and let’s not forget Satan. On the eve of the summit, the Pope said:

One cannot live an entire life accusing, accusing, accusing the Church. Whose is the office of the accuser? The devil! And those who spend their life accusing, accusing, accusing, are – I will not say children, because the devil does not have any – but friends, cousins, relatives of the devil.

And who are these” friends, cousins and relatives?” According to the egregious Catholic League’s Bill Dononhue, above:

Virtually every professional victims’ group – most are not a true organization – as well as by pundits and activists.

While the Pope acknowledged that the occurrence of the sexual abuse of children within the Catholic church was even more “scandalous” due to its incompatibility “with her moral authority and ethical credibility”, his speech failed to reflect the concrete action that survivors of sex abuse were hoping for.

About 190 bishops and cardinals attended the summit, during which they heard traumatic testimony from those who had been raped and molested by priests, and about the indifference that the Catholic church’s hierarchy has shown towards them.

One woman from Africa told the summit that the priest who began raping her at age 15 forced her to have three abortions, and beat her when she refused him sex. A survivor from Chile told the bishops and religious superiors they had inflicted even more pain on victims by discrediting them and protecting the priests who abused.

Doyle added:

The presidents of the bishops’ conferences going home today will rest easy. They will scrutinise the [Pope’s] talk and try to analyse the question: ‘Do I have to do anything differently or risk losing my job?’ The answer is no, there’s nothing in this talk today that threatens the position and power of bishops. It is so far from what was needed.

Dozens of survivors of clerical sexual abuse who travelled to Rome on the expectation of a stronger outcome felt severely let down. Said Alessandro Battaglia, 22:

I’ve been waiting for seven years … others have been waiting for much longer. After four days, we get a piece of paper full of banality, and this is the church in which we’re expected to believe. We are very disappointed.

Francesco Zanardi, who set up Rete l’Abuso, Italy’s only network of clerical abuse survivors, said:

We’re being taken for a ride. We expected a concrete response but nothing useful has come out of this. In this speech the church makes itself out to be the victim – but we are the victims.

Image via YouTube

Peter Isley,  above, spokesperson for Ending Clergy Abuse, an organisation that brings together activists from different countries, criticised the Pope’s speech for failing to signal that church leaders would get tough on removing from the ministry priests guilty of abuse and bishops who covered up for them.

A child will be harmed today due to what the Pope didn’t say today. What he’s actually saying to all bishops is to ‘keep on covering it up’. He talks about families … well he is protecting his family. Why can’t he enact zero-tolerance into church law? He has the power to do that. The problem is his internal conflict – does he protect the priests within his family or the victims of abuse?

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  • French Pandora

    I guess the inquisition and the european great witch hunt were Satan’s work too ?

  • Raging Bee

    Whose is the office of the accuser? The devil!

    So he literally demonized everyone who accuses or ever accused the Church of any wrongdoing. Without qualification.

    I set some very low expectations of this Pope, and this conference, and was hoping for a pleasant surprise. And I didn’t get one. These tired old hacks can’t even exceed the atheists’ expectations of them.

  • David Hughett

    How can any reasonable person choose to support this vile institution?

  • Raging Bee

    Peter Isley, above, spokesperson for Ending Clergy Abuse, an organisation that brings together activists from different countries, criticised the Pope’s speech for failing to signal that church leaders would get tough on removing from the ministry priests guilty of abuse and bishops who covered up for them.

    Do we really want these reactionary authoritarian dirtballs doing MORE? As someone else already said at the conference, people should report suspected abuse to the SECULAR authorities, and step out of their way and let them handle it. It’s the state who have both the law-enforcement and social-services tools (and competency) to handle this sort of thing, far better than a bunch of superstitious bigots who only care about protecting their own organization. Church officials playing a greater role in a subject where they’ve already proven themselves incompetent and uncaring, is the LAST thing we should be asking for.

  • Satan is always conveniently silent on the matter. If he existed taking claim for all that stuff would be great PR. “See, God lets me do what I want. So why are you still following him instead of me?”

  • Michael Neville

    It’s not even plus ça change it’s just c’est la même chose.

  • Michael Neville
  • mordred

    And again it was SATAN!

    And of course what the Catholic clergy did was actually Pagan stuff and had nothing to do with his corrupt institution, no Sir!

    I’m beginning to detest this guy more than Benny.

  • mordred

    Hell yes!

    I left the club years ago mainly because I simply did not believe in their God any more, but I really hurried to get the paperwork done before I got my first paycheck so they would not get a single cent from me over the German church-tax!

  • mordred

    Weeeel, the church did make some small mistakes in the past…

    But mostly it was Atheists, Pagans and SATAN!

  • Raging Bee

    Yeah, one of his first official acts as Pope was to blame “neopagans” for the Holocaust. Old habits die hard…

  • Vanity Unfair

    This might be a mistranslation and refer to the OT Satan: the Adversary. See Job for a job description. That JHWH would keep such a civil servant in his employ might also speak volumes on his own personality.

  • Raging Bee

    Either Satan is SUPPOSED to play the role of accuser and questioner, keeping God’s people honest in an adversarial relationship; or a bunch of thin-skinned religious authoritarians are just portraying everyone who questions them and tries to keep them honest as “Satan.” The former looks like a neat worldview where God allows an adversary to keep everyone on their toes; but all the evidence I’ve seen so far points more toward the latter.