Bad news about pedophilia in the Catholic Church knows no end of late. Barely has the furor about documented abuse in Pennsylvania dioceses died down and new indisputable allegations, this time from Germany, hit the news. In the former case, a 900 page grand jury report identifies 1000 children “and thousands more likely” in six of the eight state dioceses to have suffered sexual abuse from some 300 priests over many years. In many cases, these perverts were protected and covered up for by church superiors. In the German case, a new study by the church itself reveals that 3677 people, half of them under 13 years of age, have been sexually abused according to church records. As in the case of Pennsylvania in many of these cases the church hierarchy protected the pedophiles and not the children. There are countless other cases coming to be known from all over the catholic world that testify that neither Pennsylvania nor Germany are isolated cases, but rather a dismal church reality that has long been swept under the rug.
What is going on and can the oldest Christian church finally clean its act and start with a clean slate? There are solid reasons to believe that this is not possible short of a clean-up that goes to the very top of the church and that means the pope himself. The reason for that is evidence that the cover up demonstrated in both of the above cases is neither coincidental nor one off, but systemic and church-wide. The evidence has come in the form of an 11 page open letter by former Vatican ambassador to Washington, nuncio Carlo Maria Vigano, who was certainly in a position to know all the dirty laundry of the American catholic church.
In the letter, Vigano directly accuses Pope Francis of “covering up” for “serial predator” Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, former archbishop of Washington. Vigano further claims that the pope knew of McCarrick’s pedophile history as early as 2013 but did nothing and, in fact, made him the “most listened to advisor” on the Obama administration. Moreover, according to Vigano’s letter, McCarrick and a group of other high-ranking clergy were instrumental in conspiring to appoint a number of key executives similarly tolerant of pedophilia to key positions in the church without going through the nuncio, said to be the normal practice. Summing up his accusations, Vigano draws the conclusion that “corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy” and asks the pope to resign.
The reaction of Pope Francis to date has been silence, which, if anything, has given Vigano’s accusations further credibility. It has also come to light that McCarrick’s pedophile proclivities were well-known and much discussed in the church and that Frances’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had already punished McCarrick and dramatically curtailed his activities.
So how credible are these serious accusations and where does all of this leaves us with respect to the future of the church? Unfortunately for the catholic church, they are more than credible and it is not at all clear how the Vatican can come clear of them short of a significant shake-up. The main problem is that Pope Francis is a man of the left and has been since day one. To the extent that he has any documented sympathies, like those of most leftists, they are largely on the side of the homosexuals, which may be why he is unable or unwilling to do anything about the rampant pedophilia in the church.
Here are just some of his well-known views that document his leftist sympathies:
- • Pope Francis has spoken on a number of occasions in favor of ‘liberation theology,’ which was nothing less than an effort by Marxists to take over the catholic church from the inside.
- • He is constantly critical of the free market system conveniently neglecting the evidence that it is free markets that had lifted untold millions from poverty and continue to do so to this day.
- • The pope has never uttered much if any criticism of communism even during his trip to Cuba, which remains one of the most oppressed and impoverished countries in America.
- • Finally, perhaps the best indication of the pope’s sympathies are the advisors with whom he has surrounded himself. It is well-known that perhaps the most influential of them is the cardinal of Munich, Reinhard Marx. Cardinal Marx is not only a sympathizer of his better known German namesake, but also a long-time advocate of blessing homosexual unions, which, of course, contradicts the gist of catholic doctrine, but is likely to be a faithful reflection of the pope’s own beliefs.
The bottom line seems to be that if the church is unable to free itself from the dismal reputation it has acquired it and provide parishioners with a reason to believe in it, it will not survive in the long term. According to German church records, while in the 1950s and 1960s some 11 to 11.5 million attended mass every Sunday, today this number has shrunk to 3.5 million. Pope Francis and Cardinal Marx are unlikely to provide such a reason.
By Alex Alexiev