The Vatican had “no comment” when asked about hundreds of Pennsylvania priests sexually abusing a thousand children.
Where is Pope Francis?
Where is the moral leader of the Catholic Church?
Where is the compassionate, accessible Wheelchair Pope, the Energizer Bunny Pope, the Cynicism-Busting Pope who has always been so eager to comment on every hot button issue, from Global Warming to immigration to homosexuality?
I know where Francis is not. He is not where he should be, in Pennsylvania overseeing a revolutionary and historic house cleaning of a satanic cancer that infects his Church, a 70-year-old cancer of priests and bishops and cardinals who are guilty of either engaging in an organized cabal to rape little boys and girls, or in covering up those unspeakable crimes.
Worse still, not only is Francis not in Pennsylvania personally disinfecting his Church, all we are hearing from the Vatican, the same Vatican that knew well in advance this utterly damning grand jury report was coming out, is “no comment.”
What we have here is a painfully detailed report using on the record testimony and — my God — the Church’s own secret archives, to lay out a painfully detailed case against hundreds of priests who abused and raped some 1,000 children over 70 years — a highly organized pedophile ring allowed to operate for seven decades.
Moreover, the cover up, the enabling of these child rapists goes all the way to the Vatican itself.
What the Vatican is dealing with here goes beyond even the original child abuse scandal that threatened to swamp the Church some 15 years ago. While the first scandal was its own kind of horror show, we were assured this was behind us, the truth had been fully revealed, the wrongdoers punished, the victims made as whole as possible, the page turned.
Now we are learning this is not even close to the truth, that in just one of our 50 states, the cover up and lies marched on to protect an unspeakable evil.
And where is Francis?
Why isn’t he in Pennsylvania personally thanking this grand jury, personally thanking Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, and calling on the attorney generals in all 50 states to launch similar investigations with the Pope’s personal assurance they will have the full cooperation of the Church?
You want to know what should chill every Catholic to the marrow? If this is happening here in America, a country with a legitimate criminal justice system and free press, what horrors are being unleashed in third world countries? In corrupt countries?
As a conservative Catholic (I joined the Church in 2008 believing the sex scandal had been eradicated), I have gone out of my way not to beat up Francis. Even though I believe he is wrong about a lot of things, something I admire about the Catholic Church is the intellectual diversity within. That debate is healthy. So this is not me exploiting the opportunity to bash our left-wing Pope, a man whose photo sits on my fireplace mantle. Rather, this is a practicing Catholic who joined the Church as a 42-year-old man with an open heart, who is just as angry and disappointed in St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI, and who fears the Church is beyond redemption.