Pope Francis In Hot Water Over Sex Abuse Claims

Pope Francis is back in the news for all the wrong reasons. You'd think the "Pope" should be making headlines in the news for talking about Jesus, except that never happens with Pope Francis. Nope, here are

Pope Francis is back in the news for all the wrong reasons.

You’d think the “Pope” should be making headlines in the news for talking about Jesus, except that never happens with Pope Francis.

Nope, here are his recent headlines:

Pope Francis Sides With Muslims Against Jews in Jerusalem

Pope Francis: “You Must Believe in Climate Change”

Pope Francis Wants Gun Control

Pope Francis: “Hell Does Not Exist”

Pope Francis Attacks Donald Trump

Those are just to name a few.

No mention of Jesus in the bunch.

Anyway, the Pope is at it again, this time making headlines for how poorly he is handling the Catholic Church’s sex abuse scandal.  You’d think the Pope and the Church would be defenders of the most vulnerable, but it just doesn’t seem to be the case.  In fact, at the rate he’s going, I fully expect to see a headline in the next month or so saying Pope Francis supports Planned Parenthood!

Here’s more on the growing story, from ReligionNews:

But the 81-year-old pontiff’s appeals on behalf of the downtrodden are being overshadowed by the way he is dealing with victims of clerical sexual abuse.

“This is a situation which the pope has mishandled, and it’s gone from bad to worse,” Marie Collins, a former member of a pontifical commission on clerical sex abuse, who herself was abused by a priest when she was 13 years old, told Religion News Service.

The pope — who has repeatedly been accused of having a tin ear on this issue — is coming under pressure after it emerged he was handed a letter detailing abuse committed by the Rev. Fernando Karadima, a prominent Chilean priest, and how a future bishop witnessed it but did nothing.

It contradicted Francis’ comments to journalists last month that no victims had come forward with evidence of a cover-up by Bishop Juan Barros, whom the pope appointed in 2015 to lead the Diocese of Osorno. During a trip to Chile in January, Francis also upset survivors by describing the claims against Barros — many of them made by victims — as “calumny.”

Collins said she is shocked by the way Francis has dealt with the case.

Irish abuse victim Marie Collins, left, who has quit the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, looks at the commission head, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, during their first briefing at the Holy See press office at the Vatican on May 3, 2014. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
“It surprised me, as I did have a fair amount of faith in the pope, and he did seem to have an understanding of the pain of victims. I have a general feeling of mystification,” said Collins, who helped draft child protection guidelines for the church in Ireland.

In addition to appearing insensitive to victims in the Barros case, the pope has also drawn criticism for not making the prevention of sexual abuse of children high enough on his priority list. While the abuse scandal has in the past centered on cover-ups like the one in Boston highlighted by the film “Spotlight,” the challenge for the church is to help survivors and stop abuse from happening again, and the pope appears to be falling short, according to Collins.

“It wouldn’t be so shocking if he hadn’t spoken so harshly to victims, and it’s hard to understand why he spoke in that way,” she said. “He was also in Chile and could have met those survivors while he was there.”

Francis did meet victims while in Chile, just not those abused by Karadima, who was sentenced to a life of “prayer and penance” by the Vatican in 2011.

Collins said that what most baffles her about the pope’s remark that no one had come forward was that a delegation she was part of handed a letter written by a Karadima victim, Juan Carlos Cruz, to Cardinal Sean O’Malley in April 2015. At the time, O’Malley, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors that she was part of, promised to deliver the missive personally to the pope.

The Guardian also weighed in, criticizing this Pope:

All that changed with the pope’s visit to Chile. The church there had been convulsed by the discovery that children had been abused by an influential priest for years. It is claimed that many other priests knew or even witnessed what was going on. Among them was Juan Barros, whom Francis made a bishop in 2015 and installed in a southern diocese in the teeth of furious protests from both clergy and congregation. Bishop Barros, who denies the claims, was prominent among the bishops who received Francis on his visit: the two men were photographed embracing; and when Francis was asked on the flight back what he thought of the allegations against the bishop, he replied that they were merely slander, and that he had not seen any proof to back them up.

This was outrageous enough. He later apologised for his language, saying it must have come as “a slap in the face” for survivors. He has sent the Vatican’s chief prosecutor to Chile to reinvestigate the case. But he reiterated his belief in Bishop Barros’s innocence. Now it emerges that an eight-page letter detailing the accusations against the bishop was handed to the pope by Cardinal Sean O’Malley, the man in charge of relations with survivors, who is trusted by both sides.

Either the pope failed to read the letter or he read and then discounted it. Either explanation must damage his reputation, and he has legions of enemies inside the church who want to destroy him. Most of these enemies denounce him for appealing to lay people over the heads of the priesthood, especially when it comes to sexual morality. In the case of Bishop Barros he seems to be committing a dreadful mistake by siding with the clergy and the establishment over the instincts of his flock.

One of the worst stories may be one we covered here at LGD:

One of Pope Francis’ key advisors was just busted in the wildest of scandals…a drug-fueled gay-sex orgy happening right inside Vatican City!  Now you know this isn’t the first time it’s happened.  So how often has this been going on and why has it been tolerated?  We have a lot of questions.  This Pope has already been on our radar and this confirms our suspicions.

Here are more details of this breaking story, from the New York Post:

Vatican police raided a drug-fueled gay-sex party at an apartment belonging to an aide of one of Pope Francis’ key advisers, according to a new report.

The Holy Father is “enraged,” since the home, inhabited by Francesco Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s secretary, belongs to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith — the arm charged with tackling clerical sex abuse, the Italian paper Il Fatto Quotidiano reported.

Cops raided the apartment in late June after neighbors voiced concern about multiple people acting strangely while streaming in and out of the residence, the newspaper reported Wednesday.

Once police were inside the apartment, they said they found multiple men engaged in rampant drug use and homosexual activity.

They then arrested the priest — an aide to one of Pope Francis’ key advisers — after taking him to a clinic to detoxfrom the drugs he’d ingested.

The unnamed aide is now on a spiritual retreat in a convent in Italy, the paper said.

The aide’s apartment building is the same place where Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger lived for about 25 years before becoming Pope Benedict XVI.

Fatto Quotidiano described the building as “a perfect location to enjoy the extraterritorial rights [of the Vatican] without having to undergo neither the checks of the Italian State nor those of the Vatican City.”

Pope Francis “has decided to accelerate the retirement” of Coccopalmerio, who serves as president of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, the paper said.

Coccopalmerio had recommended the secretary for a promotion to bishop — but his prospects aren’t looking good following this incident and two previous alleged drug overdoses, according to an International Business Times report.

“He had proposed his secretary to the episcopate. Fortune that they have not appointed him bishop. Now what would happen?” Il Fatto Quotidiano said. “Someone stopped this appointment before it was too late.”

WTH?

So what is going on with this Pope?

Where there’s smoke there’s fire?

We want to hear from YOU in the comment below!

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