Bay Staters highly respect Cardinal Sean O'Malley. He’s viewed
by many as a no-holds-barred cardinal when it comes to addressing
clergy sex abuse.
a 2014 interview with “America,” the Jesuit Review,
O’Malley spoke out about the problem.
“In many people’s minds
it is an American problem, an Irish problem or a German problem,”
O’ Malley said. “The church has to face it is everywhere
in the world. There is so much denial. The church has to respond to
make the church safe for children.”
now, some Bay Staters are calling for both Cardinal O’Malley
and Pope Francis to step down as reports circulate that O’Malley,
too, knew of alleged abuses at the hands of former D.C. archbishop
Cardinal Theodore McCarrick.
in 2018 the Catholic Church worldwide is still bedeviled with this
problem. And it begs the question, is the Catholic Church
on his trip to Ireland to win back the confidence of Catholics
reeling from its church’s mishandling of predatory priests,
Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigaṇ, an ultra-traditionalist and
unapologetic homophobe, accused Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis,
and other top Catholic Church officials of knowing about McCarrick
sex abuses decades before they became public. On June 20 McCarrick
was removed from public ministry by the Holy See, and on June 27 Pope
Francis accepted his resignation for the College of Cardinals.
a 7,000-word public published letter, Vigaṇ called on Francis
this extremely dramatic moment for the universal Church,”
Vigaṇ wrote, “he must acknowledge his mistakes and, in
keeping with the proclaimed principle of zero tolerance, Pope Francis
must be the first to set an example for cardinals and bishops who
covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign with all of them.”
might be correct in pointing out the Catholic Church’s moral
and ecclesiastical fecklessness to stem the problem with its
predatory priests, but he also has a chip on his shoulder.
is part of the ultra-conservative wing of the Vatican, that is
hell-bent against change and inclusion. Vigaṇ however, is
most incensed by the pontiff “giving comfort to a ‘homosexual
current’ in the Vatican.” Vigaṇ ran afoul with
Francis when he invited Kim Davis, the Kentucky municipal clerk who
lost her job refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
the two warring factions- conservative versus liberal wings -
wrestle with the direction the Catholic Church needs to go in this
modern era, the church, nonetheless, is still stymied and stained by
continued unaddressed claims of sex abuse by unprosecuted sex
this month the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania exploded with news
exposing its sex abuse scandal citing a grand-jury report, accusing
300 priests abusing at least 1,000 children over a 70 year period.
Pennsylvania's sex abuse explosion came following McCarrick’s
O’Malley met last Tuesday with Boston-area priests to address
recent alleged sexual misconduct at St. John’s Seminary in
Brighton. While addressing this problem, news circulated that
O’Malley never addressed a letter sent to him about McCarrick.
O’Malley claims that his secretary never gave it to him.
his mea culpa clean-up statement, O’Malley stated the
following: “I understand that not everyone will accept this
answer given the way the Church has eroded the trust of our people.
My hope is that we can repair the trust and faith of all Catholics.”
question not asked by the church’s governing body is why does
sexual abuse persist as it does among its clerics?
are two salient causes: a “no-snitch policy” and an
unwavering support of church bishops.
example, the church has a “no- snitch” policy when it
comes to child sexual abuse. Canon law allows for the pontifical
secret of “allegations” as well as proof of predatory
priests. This “cover-up” has been occurring under the
pontificate of six popes since 1922.
in February 2016, good news came giving hope that canon law was about
to change. O’Malley, the president of the Pontifical Commission
for the Protection of Minors, stated that bishops have an ethical and
moral obligation to report allegations of clergy sexual misconduct
and abuse to civil authorities. In December 2016, the commission
published its guidelines for bishops and, sadly, O’Malley’s
statement was excluded.
Francis promised to implement a “zero tolerance” policy
moving forward to stem the problem, but Francis appears to be part of
the problem, too, because he supports his bishop.
example, Francis appointed a bishop in Chile who turned a blind eye
and deaf ear to the country’s most notorious predatory priest.
In 2011, the Vatican found the priest guilty and sentenced him to a
lifetime of “penance and prayer” rather than jail. And,
still, in 2018, Francis supported the bishop in Chile’s
example is when Pope Francis attended former Boston archbishop
Bernard Law’s funeral at St. Peter’s Basilica in the
Vatican. Francis re-injured and re-traumatized the church’s
sex-abuse survivors. Law never faced criminal charges for his role in
knowing and allowing abusive priests to remain in local parishes.
a closing ceremony in Dublin, Francis asked forgiveness for sexual
abuses committed by clerics of his church. However, with no changes
in canon law, seminarian training, and his level of moral
culpability, Francis’s church has done nothing to earn