FrankenPope summons presidents of world’s bishops conferences to discuss abuse crisis [next February!?]

Dorothy Cummings McLean

FrankenPope summons presidents of world’s bishops conferences to discuss abuse crisis [next February!?]

VATICAN CITY, September 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis has summoned all the presidents of the national bishops conferences to Rome to discuss the abuse crisis that is rocking the Church. The theme of the meeting is: “protection of minors.”

A press release from the Council of Cardinals, published today, says that the pontiff’s decision came after a meeting with them:

“The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, decided to convene a meeting with the Presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of ‘the protection of minors.'”

The presidents’ meeting with the Pope will be held in the Vatican from February 21-24, 2019.

The Council of Cardinals, Pope Francis’ special advisory group, has been holding meetings with the pontiff for three days. During one of the meetings, the Council discussed the issue of abuse.

This announcement comes after the intense scrutiny of Pope Francis and other prelates mentioned in the testimony of Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, which was released last month. Viganò accused Pope Francis and other bishops — among them the Council’s own Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Sean O’Malley, and Rodriguez Maradiaga — of having covered up sexual abuse and promoted clerical sexual abusers, including the now disgraced ex-cardinal Archbishop McCarrick. The former papal nuncio to the United States also called upon Pope Francis to resign.

A day after news of the letter broke, Pope Francis told reporters that he was “not going to say a word” about the allegations. One bishop calledthe Pope’s response a “non-denial.” Now, however, it seems that Pope Francis is at least talking to his advisers and plans to speak to several bishops on the subject. Cardinal Di Nardo and Archbishop Jose Gomez, president and vice-president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, will meet with Francis and Cardinal Seàn O’Malley tomorrow.

Yesterday the Council of Cardinals released a memo informing readers that it had expressed loyalty to the Holy Father in the wake of the former papal nuncio’s 11-page letter.

According to the declaration, the Council of Cardinals “expressed its full solidarity with Pope Francis with regard to the events of recent weeks, aware that in the current debate the Holy See is about to make the eventual and necessary clarifications.”

Only six of the nine members of the Council of Cardinals have been able to meet with Pope Francis this week: Cardinals Pietro Parolin, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, Seàn P. O’Malley, Oswald Gracias, Reinhard Marx, and Giuseppe Bertello. Those unable to attend are Cardinals Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Francisco Errazuriz Ossa, and George Pell.

LifeSiteNews reported on August 27 how a source in the Vatican Curia said that the news of Archbishop Viganò “hit the Curia like an atomic bomb.”

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2 comments on “FrankenPope summons presidents of world’s bishops conferences to discuss abuse crisis [next February!?]

  1. A meeting of the world’s bishops to talk about abuse? Please, not more talk. Action!

    By Phil Lawler | Sep 12, 2018

    Pope Francis has called the leaders of the world’s episcopal conferences to Rome, to “speak about the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.” Great.

    The meeting will take place next February—more than five years after the Pope announced his plan to set up a special commission to recommend plans and policies for “the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.” So you might ask yourself, what has that commission been doing these five years?

    For one thing, the commission has been butting heads with various Vatican officials, trying—and often failing—to gain approval for its recommendations. Commission members have resigned in frustration, complaining about the lack of cooperation from Vatican agencies and episcopal conferences. If he saw the problem as urgent, the Pope, as the Church’s supreme legislator, could require all the world’s episcopal conferences to adopt norms suggested by his commission. Instead, he’s convened a meeting—in five months—to talk about the issue some more.

    Or rather, to talk about a part of the issue. The revelations of recent weeks—the Chilean debacle and the McCarrick scandal in particular—have made it impossible to ignore two aspects of the scandal that have not been addressed: the influence of a homosexual network among the clergy, and the complicity of bishops who have failed to address abuse charges. These issues are not even mentioned in the Vatican’s announcement of the February meeting.

    To be fair, the papal commission did recommend the creation of a special tribunal that would hold bishops accountable for their negligence in handling abuse charges. In 2015, the Pontiff approved that recommendation and created the tribunal. On paper. But in reality nothing changed—it was all talk, again—and after a year the Pope announced a new policy, rescinding the plan for a tribunal, claiming that existing procedures were adequate for disciplinary action against negligent bishops.

    But if those procedures worked, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The Pope is inviting the world’s bishops to discuss the problem, ignoring the fact that to a large extent the world’s bishops ARE the problem.

    Pope Francis has issued several excellent statements on sexual abuse. But his actions haven’t matched his statements. Now he has made an impressive gesture. The summons to all the world’s episcopal conferences is unprecedented; under different circumstances it would convey a sense of urgency. Not now.

    So in five months the representatives of the world’s bishops, who have fumbled and compounded this problem for decades, will meet with the Pope, who has been talking about the problem for years. And they’ll talk about it some more. If the meeting sticks to the announced agenda, it will do nothing to resolve the problem, nothing to ease the righteous anger of an outraged Catholic laity.

  2. Skepticism Follows Announcement of Synod for ‘Protection of Minors’

    by Stephen Wynne • ChurchMilitant.com • September 12, 2018

    Many express doubt that gathering will lead to lasting reform

    VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) – Pope Francis is ordering the heads of all national bishops’ conferences to Rome for a synod on the “protection of minors” from Feb. 21–24, 2019.

    As the Pope wrapped up a three-day meeting with his closest advisors Wednesday, Paloma García Ovejero, vice director of the Holy See Press Office, announced a 2019 synod to tackle the clerical sex abuse crisis: “The Holy Father, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, convened a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of all the world to speak about the prevention of abuse of minors and vulnerable adults, as announced in the communiqué published today.”

    Meanwhile, the Council of Cardinals — which includes prominent leftists like Cdl. Óscar Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Cdl. Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, Cdl. Seán Patrick O’Malley of Boston and Vatican Secretary of State Cdl. Pietro Parolin — released its own communiqué, saying, “The Holy Father Francis, after hearing the Council of Cardinals, has decided to convene a meeting with the presidents of the Episcopal Conferences of the Catholic Church on the theme of the ‘protection of minors.'”

    But faithful Catholics are voicing skepticism over the plan, noting the hierarchy’s entrenched pattern of sex abuse cover-up.

    Speaking with Church Militant Wednesday, Michael Hichborn of the Lepanto Institute blasted the announcement:

    Another meeting with department heads to continue discussing a scandal that has been unfolding over the course of the last 20 years is the last thing the Church needs right now. What happened to the 300-plus page dossier on the network of sexual corruption in the clergy that Pope Benedict specifically set aside for his successor? Why are whistleblowers, like Abp. Viganò, getting more attention from the Vatican than the people he identified? If Pope Francis had any actual good will intent in rooting out the serious issues in the clergy, he would have started by removing the very prelates he has placed and promoted. But instead, he has called for yet another useless meeting that will further implement policies and procedures that do the same amount of nothing that his zero-tolerance policy does.

    Likewise, Regina Magazine’s Beverly Stevens told Church Militant the announcement is simply “more spin,” as well as “astounding hubris on the Pope’s part,” considering that “he is implicated himself in covering up horrific sex abuse of orphans and deaf children in Argentina.”

    “With today’s explosive revelations of almost 3700 victims in Germany — again, mostly male teenagers — if he had a shred of decency, he would cancel his fake ‘Youth Synod’,” Stevens continued.

    “I actually think that Francis may have the idea that such a bishops’ conference might be twisted to push through the ‘need’ for a married priesthood,” she observed. “From there, it’s only a few short steps to a homosexual married priesthood.”

    “However,” Stevens added, “across the Church, laity and clergy are beginning to wake up to this agenda. We are hearing confidential reports that big fundraising efforts are falling flat in many U.S. dioceses. If Francis is looking to create schism, this trajectory he’s on is a sure way to do so.”

    EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo took to Twitter to voice his concern. “In announcing the synod for ‘the protection of minors,’ the Vatican has sought to recast the sex abuse crisis. In the US and parts of Europe the protection of minors has been largely dealt with. This latest fallout is over bishop’s abusing their power + the abuse of seminarians,” he said.

    Likewise, Phil Lawler tweeted, “The Pope is inviting the world’s bishops to discuss the problem, ignoring the fact that the world’s bishops ARE the problem. And one more meeting to talk about abuse? Please, not more talk. Action!”

    Faithful Catholics in the pew are equally skeptical. Decades of clerical sex abuse cover-up have demonstrated the bulk of the world’s bishops inch toward reform only when the outcry against them has become so great as to threaten their positions of power. Even then, real reform has often been elusive.

    Church-watchers point to the case of the Dallas Charter, constructed in June 2002 after The Boston Globe exposed clerical sex abuse in Boston. Among U.S. bishops gathering in Texas to hammer out protocols, then-Cdl. Theodore McCarrick, a serial sexual predator, presented himself as a leading voice of reform.

    Together with allies among his brother bishops, McCarrick deliberately diluted the Dallas Charter by exempting bishops from its provisions and seminarians from its protections — apparently tailoring the document to protect himself and others like him after decades of abusing those under his authority.

    Now, after two-and-a-half months of denials by top U.S. clerics that they knew anything about McCarrick’s crimes; of insistence that the root of the problem is “clericalism,” not homosexuality; of assurances that the Church isn’t facing a “massive, massive crisis,” faithful American Catholics — and those everywhere — sense there is little reason to hope another synod of bishops will solve the mess of their own making.

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