Who can properly, effectively and realizably investigate the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis?

By Matt C. Abbott – RenewAmerica – September 6, 2018
(This column originally appeared at American Thinker.)

In recent weeks , there’s been considerable coverage and chatter in the mainstream media, social media and the Catholic blogosphere on the fallout over the Pennsylvania grand jury report, not to mention the Pope Francis, Archbishop Vigano controversy, which has basically developed into a full-blown Catholic civil war. Sides are being taken by those who have strong feelings on the latest crisis in the Church.

Of course, I realize that, for better or worse (probably more the latter), many Catholics aren’t too interested in what’s happening in the Church. We just have to let them be. Hopefully at least some will soon wake up and see that we’re in the midst of profound spiritual warfare. On the other hand, if they’re indeed striving to live as faithful Catholics while paying little to no attention to the news, I certainly can’t be critical of them.

But back to the crisis at hand.

Joseph Shaw makes an excellent observation in a Sept. 1 blog post:

In the current phase of the Church’s crisis, we are focusing as much or more on the enablers of abuse, than on the abusers themselves. It is time we thought about them, because it removes the comforting impression that a ‘few bad apples’ could be ejected from the priesthood and all would be well. As is sometimes pointed out, perhaps 4% of priests were sex abusers. The problem is the general ethos and culture which enabled them to carry on their abuse, and the superiors systematically protected the abusers.

Never mind the 4% of priests: it is the 60% or 80% or more of bishops and religious superiors who harbored sexual predators and provided them with fresh opportunities for abuse. It may be that most of the priest-abusers have died or been laicized by now, but their hierarchical enablers, few of whom had to face up to their crimes when the clerical abuse became a big story in 2002, have continued to flourish. This is an indication that, even if stricter reporting procedures have had a restraining effect on sexual predation by priests since 2002, the ethos and culture which made the abuse possible is still largely intact.

Bingo. I really don’t want to hear the “few bad apples” argument from anyone at this point. We’re way, way beyond that stage.

Without getting into all the particulars of the Vigano letter – there are several Catholic websites that have been covering its various allegations in detail – I’ll say that a thorough investigation is warranted. The problem is, who can be trusted to conduct an investigation of this nature? Ideally, it would be conducted by members of the clergy and laity – on both the left and the right, so to speak.

Thus, a committee comprised of several conservative (I much prefer the term “orthodox” or “traditional,” of course) members of the clergy and laity, and several liberal members of the clergy and laity, who would, as much as possible, set aside their moral and theological differences to investigate all the allegations contained in the Vigano report. This includes any allegations of scandalous activity during the last two pontificates. A conclusion, or series of conclusions, would then have to be reached.

I believe this is the only scenario in which a possible consensus, even a partial consensus, could be reached by relatively well-known conservative and liberal Catholics regarding these very serious allegations.

The challenge of this scenario is choosing the members of the committee. It would be a difficult task, yes, but I think it could be done. The Vatican would have to a play a role in the selection of the committee, but otherwise, Church officials could not interfere with the investigation. Other details would have to be worked out, and a time limit would have to be put in place so the investigation doesn’t go on indefinitely. (Sound familiar?)

Do I believe this scenario will occur? I’m a realist, so, no, probably not. There are too many people who, for various reasons, don’t want the full truth known. Yet for those of us who truly care about the Church, we do want the truth known. And because we’re dealing with a significant aspect of the clergy abuse scandal, I believe there are liberal Catholics who also want the truth known. Will it end all differences between conservative and liberal Catholics? Of course not. But perhaps we would see at least some healing and mutual respect.

An investigation conducted only by conservative Catholics or liberal Catholics won’t accomplish much. The other side would be highly skeptical of the findings, and media bias has to be taken into account. But, again, I don’t see this happening. In fact, I don’t know who will conduct the investigation, if there ever is one. There aren’t many prelates I trust. Also, the pope doesn’t have to act in response to any investigation unless he chooses to do so. He answers only to God.

And there’s no indication that Pope Francis wants to investigate the allegations contained in the Vigano letter. He doesn’t even want to discuss them. He wants to remain silent – on this matter, at least.

One more troubling aspect to this disaster of a pontificate.

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6 comments on “Who can properly, effectively and realizably investigate the Catholic Church’s sex abuse crisis?

  1. Legal brute force in certain instances, hopefully led by serious, faithful and p____’d-as-all-h____ Catholics may be the best to be hoped for. Commissions are invariably vanity contests and produce “consensus”, i.e. compromise and more muddle.
    I am not optimistic.

    • You took the words out of my mouth.
      The hierarchy is useless…finished…so any sponsorship on their part is impossible. Criminals — and especially those with cauterized consciences like the proud homosexualists in the hierarchy — never prosecute themselves, and they do everything they can to prevent others from doing so. That is *obvious*.
      The Homafia has got its hands on all the levers of power, even the lever of levers, Frankenpope.
      Probably the best we can humanly hope for is that civil governments will continue to carry on like Pennsylvania did, and eventually simply jail, or otherwise take out of commission, enough fags so that the Homafia loses control.
      Yes, it will be humiliating.
      Yes, it’s not the way things are normally supposed to be. The Church in itself is a society superior to the State, and should be able to try its own clerics and religious.
      But when the Church has been hijacked by homos, what else is left?

  2. One other reality that will never come out in court or the lib media is the fact that some of this behavior genuinely is tied to diabolical involvement, possibly at high ecclesiastical levels and probably far worse than the piddly fiction an infamous ex-Jebbie faker peddled while posing as an “expert” on the Vatican and as an “exorcist.”

  3. BTW, as to this cockamamy idea of a coalition committee of “left wingers” and “right wingers”…
    Please…it’s so stupid it isn’t even worthy of comment.

  4. Just what are the goals of this “committee?” What do we want to come out of this?

    Truth? – yes, that would be nice. But let’s not imagine that that will bring about much change.
    Resignations? – yes, that would be nice, but committees can’t hope for that.
    Then what?

    The only solution, of course, is to remove all fags and fems and prohibit their ordination in the future. Who wants that? Outside of a few of us extremist integrists, the rest of the Catholic world is fine with “gays.” Gays deserve respect, they have special gifts (that they want to give to our boys), and they make sensitive, caring priests.

    What we want, and what will ultimately happen because Jesus Christ will right His Church, is a shedding of all the modernist trappings and all the novelty since the abominable Council.

  5. The progressives, liberals, progressive modernists, Cultural Marxists, Liberation theology types, socialists, and tree huggers will blame JP2, Ratzinger, clericalism, and celibacy, bending over backwards to exonerate Pope Francis and direct things away from too much attention on homosexualism by exaggerating the hetero cases.

    Since 80% to 90% of the cases are homo (probably more since males tend not to report such abuse) ending priestly celibacy would do very little to counteract such homo pervert assaults, molestations, and gropings. How would allowing 80% of those clerical homos to marry women end the clergy abuse??? They’re not interested in women. The priesthood does not turn normal men into predatory homo pederasts. But this is the argument that liberals and progressives will put forth – that celibacy caused this.

    No, you need two commissions or review boards. One to investigate the abuse and issue a report and another commission to investigate the review board and its findings (which will almost surely involved attempts to downplay homosexualism, infiltration of the Church, and the role of the modernist heresy and situation ethics in providing the moral confusion which rationalizes sexually-active homos as priests.

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