Pope Francis at Mass in the Casa Santa Marta invited Bishops to overcome the “Great Accuser,” who seeks to create scandal, through prayer, humility, and nearness to God’s people.
Currently several flanks of the Catholic Church are under investigation for sexual assault with minors; furthermore high ranking members of the Church, including Pope Francis, are also under scrutiny for covering them up.
Pope Francis has yet to denounce the written testimony which alleges that the Pope played a role in covering up Archbishop Theodore McCarrick’s alleged sexual abuse of seminarians and priests.
Instead, the Pope appears to be claiming that the allegations are just a work of Satan. One of the many names given to Satan is the “Great Accuser.”
“In these times, it seems like the ‘Great Accuser’ has been unchained and is attacking bishops. True, we are all sinners, we bishops. He tries to uncover the sins, so they are visible in order to scandalize the people. The ‘Great Accuser’, as he himself says to God in the first chapter of the Book of Job, ‘roams the earth looking for someone to accuse.’ A bishop’s strength against the ‘Great Accuser’ is prayer, that of Jesus and his own, and the humility of being chosen and remaining close to the people of God, without seeking an aristocratic life that removes this unction. Let us pray, today, for our bishops: for me, for those who are here, and for all the bishops throughout the world.”
It would appear as though the Pope is attempting to treat the current Church crisis as though the allegations are ‘off the cuff.’ However, the majority of claims were substantiated by Church documents.
However, the Pope is not directly referencing the allegations of sexual abuse as the reason for the ‘invitation’ during this mass; rather the Pope is generalizing the reference to the ‘Great Accuser.’
Regardless of such, the reference comes at a time when droves of Catholic Churches are under investigation for sexual abuse. Prior to the Mass, Archbishop Vigano, a widely respected figure, claimed that “the corruption has reached the very top of the Church’s hierarchy.”
Furthermore, while speaking with LifeSite News, the Archbishop said; “The main reason why I am revealing this news now is because of the tragic situation of the Church, which can be repaired only by the full truth, just as she has been gravely injured by the abuses and coverups. I do this to stop the suffering of the victims and to prevent new victims, and to protect the Church: only the truth can make her free.”
The Archbishop also said that another reason for his testimony is “to discharge my conscience before God of my responsibilities as bishop of the universal Church. I am an old man, and I want to present myself to God with clean conscience.”
When asked if he was concerned about the critics who could claim that he is breaking the pontifical secret, which is a code of confidentiality, that applies to matters which require greater than ordinary confidentiality; “The secrets in the Church, also the pontifical ones, are not taboos. They are instruments for protecting her and her children from her enemies. The secrets are not to be used for conspiracies.”
“The people of God have the right to know the full truth, also regarding their shepherds,” he said. “They have the right to be guided by good shepherds. In order to be able to trust them and love them, they have to know them openly in transparency and truth as they really are. A priest should be a light on a candlestick always and everywhere and for all.”