The Widdershins

Activist Monday: Tell It Like It Is

Posted on: July 14, 2014

I have to admit, this new pope is growing on me.

ROME (Reuters) – About two percent of Roman Catholic clerics are sexual abusers, an Italian newspaper on Sunday quoted Pope Francis as saying, adding that the pontiff considered the crime “a leprosy in our house”.


“This data should hearten me but I have to tell you that it does not hearten me at all. In fact, I think that it is very grave,” he was quoted as saying.

I am not sure where Pope Francis got this figure, as he was quoted to say that he was reassured of its accuracy from reliable statistics,but I applaud him for speaking up and admitting the problem. (Hmmm, Maybe the Catholic Church needs a 12-step program?)

The article in La Repubblica also quoted the pope as saying that there were cardinals amongst the abusers. While the role of cardinals in covering up abuse is still being uncovered, it has not been proven than any committed these horrific acts. Nonetheless, the law of averages would seem to dictate that these men are not immune from the disease. Of course, rationality is not a key characteristic of a Church which is based on transubstantiation and the infallibility of its human leader, and Vatican spokespeople are claiming that hey, His Holiness never said that!

While acknowledging that the conversation had taken place, Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi issued a statement saying that not all the phrases could be attributed “with certainty” to the pope.

Lombardi said that, in particular, a quote attributed to the pope saying cardinals were among the sex abusers was not accurate and accused the paper of trying to “manipulate naive readers”.

You know what’s manipulative? The way the Church has played on the faith of its members to marginalize and silence the victims of pedophiles in the clergy. And yes, I am quite f*cking sure that there are cardinals who have abused the children in their care. The Catholic Church is full of these cockroaches who scatter at the first hint of sunlight, and the culture for far too long has been not just tolerant of, but enabling towards, these abusers.

In my opinion, the Pope should share the statistics that he’s seen, Tell it like it is, Francis. Only then does the Catholic Church have a prayer of gaining back the credibility it has lost.

This is an open thread.


13 Responses to "Activist Monday: Tell It Like It Is"

I absolutely believe that Pope Francis said there were or are cardinal abusers and means it. This is not the first time the Vatican press office has tried to walk back his statements.

The problem with 2% ( and I’m sure the pope is intelligent enough to know this) is that each single child molester probably molests many children before anyone makes a report. So that is not an insignificant number.

This Pope survived in Argentina. He fearless. And as a Jesuit, I’m certain he knows that the “infallibility doctrine” was created in the 1870’s and is bunk, but he’s not going to waste what little time he has in the papacy to bother fighting it.

I read that before he left Argentina he told a friend “Pray for me.” If he goes where it appears he’s headed he will need every prayer on earth.

My own take on him is that he is not a misogynist but he knows he needs to deal with this one problem. He’s made his statements on sexual issues which basically amount to “don’t ask, don’t tell”, and that’s all he can do right now. He also called out trickle down economics, which is huge.

It’ll be interesting to see if he removes any cardinals or bishops and refers any for prosecution to civil authorities. He’s dispensed with much of his security, saying “at his age, he doesn’t have much to lose.”

If he referred even one cardinal or bishop for investigation to civil authorities it would rock the others to the core and then we might see some real change. He also undoubtedly knows that he might not survive long after such an action, so he needs to be absolutely certain he’s got the evidence because he’s only going to be able to do it once.

This is where I disagree with SNAP and their incessant carping and criticism. They say they want a civil legal process, but they are not willing to wait for a case which can proven in a civil court. Child molesting cases are the absolute most difficult to prove, and if Francis is going to risk his life, and his one and only chance, he needs to identify a case he is certain can be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Of course, rationality is not a key characteristic of a Church which is based on transubstantiation and the infallibility of its human leader

Oh you gotta have faith!

Mary Luke: I wasn’t aware that Francis had lung issues and had part of one lung removed. There were some speculations about his health a few weeks ago when he cancelled some appearances and that was mentioned as well as some weight gain (due to taking steroids for the lung problems?). Anyway, I do hope this Pope is with us for awhile. He’s heads above his predecessor, that’s for sure.

@3 Well, we don’t have Chat here right now, Fredster, but yes, it looks as if their could have been strain on his heart from having only one lung. Steroids, or even just the excess load on the heart from lifelong diminished capacity to process oxygen, or both, could indeed cause heart problems.

If you linked to the article MB provided, you will see that Francis stated unequivocally that he did not consider the 2% to be a minimal number, that he knows it is extremely serious. I wonder if what’s happening is the usual suspects in the Vatican tried to pull their “it’s only a small problem” line on Francis, and he responded by telling a well-known journalist that he knows it’s a dire problem.

Don’t kid yourself, they hierarchy is more terrified of being held accountable for sexual abuse than they are of birth control, abortion, divorce, gay rights, and ordination of women all put together. This is their big awful secret and if Francis sends even one of them to jail, I have no doubt there will be a bigger threat to his life than missing a lung.

I wonder if dispensing with his bubble topped popemobile was his way of telling the curia, I’m not scared to die, I’ll do whatever it takes.

@Mary Luke, yep, Chat could give us a good definitive answer on the health stuff.

I looked over the link MB provided and I agree that the 2% is probably a minimal number on the abuse issue.

Francis is definitely not endearing himself to the Curia or the other cognoscenti in the Vatican. I think I read that he’s even cracking down on their perks like the Vatican commissary.

(cached version below)

I hope that link works.

Happy Bastille Day!!!

♫ “Fromage Citroën”. ♫ 😆

@5 “the nutella is better here”???!!!!

OMG, Fredster, yes the link worked and you should post it again!

High-end leather goods? $600 shoes? Tax free gasoline? Wine? Well, it’s the church o.k, of course wine, but I’m guessing this is not your average Gallo type altar wine. Special custom shoes for the priests and diplomats?

This is the best kept secret in the church. Commissary? There’s a little bit more than mac ‘n cheese being sold there.

@5 Fredster, how do you find these things?

Mary Luke: I had originally read something about the commissary somewhere and I don’t think it was the article I linked, but essentially the same story. I had to try to find the cached version and then in creating it, it generated something with the browser I’m using so wasn’t sure if it would work for everyone.

The idea of having the “commissary” probably goes back to post WWII I’m guessing, but they really ought to tighten up the access to it. But then, that would conflict with the idea of making money off the place, wouldn’t it? (snark)

(sigh) Okay, nobody liked my “Fromage Citroën” thingy. 😦

Ah, I get it! Fromage Citroen! Very cute. At first I was just thinking…cheese car? Car of cheese?

@annie: yeah, the words just go with the phrase: aux armes citoyens!
And in singing along at times, somewhat in my cups, at Bastille celebrations in nola, I have slipped and sung (or croaked) Citroën. Hahahaaa!!

Well, well, well…it looks like Eden Foods just may get “b”-slapped by some of the types of customers who would buy their food.


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