Pope Francis, the first Jesuit pope, has rescinded his policies regarding the crack down on pedophilia, Catholic officials claim. In fact, the last abuse survivor of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors recently left the commission, citing resistance coming from Vatican offices against implementing recommendations.
It is not clear exactly where the opposition is coming from within the Catholic Church, claimed the last abuse survivor Marie Collins, on the Pontifical Commission. However, she resigned as a direct result of the Catholic Church’s inability to implement recommendations that could curb sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
In Australia, the cases of abuse are quite prevalent, and according to the chief executive of the church’s Truth Justice and Healing Council, Francis Sullivan; “You have to seriously wonder whether this isn’t the Pope backsliding on what has been a strong and determined crackdown on offending priests and the circumstances that allowed abuse to take place,”
According to Sullivan, it is a very dangerous time, he cites both the resignation of Marie Collins, and the resistance from the Church to curb pedophilia. “Together these two developments paint a picture of the Vatican establishment, its bureaucrats, and courtiers, doing all they can to either undermine the Pope or driving an agenda that is about maintaining the status quo and protecting the institution.”
Sullivan also said; “If the church in Australia doesn’t see continuous, concerted change from our leaders driven and backed by an active and demanding Catholic community, then our church as a religion will become a marginalized rump, stripped of credibility and relevance, left to preach to an ever aging congregation with eyes on an ever dimming hereafter.”
Resistance to stop pedophilia within the Catholic Church stretches all the way throughout the Vatican bureaucracy, and it is evident that Pope Francis is aware of the scandals and is continually attempting to cover them up, hush them up, and push them aside.
The Jesuit is coming out.
Before Jorge Mario Bergoglio became Pope Francis, he was potentially involved in at least five abuse cases. The following comes from Bishop-Accountability:
1Fr. Julio César Grassi
- Grassi was convicted in 2009 of molesting a boy who had lived in a home for street children that Grassi founded. After Grassi’s conviction, Bergoglio commissioned a secret study to persuade Supreme Court judges of Grassi’s innocence. Bergoglio’s intervention is believed to be at least part of the reason that Grassi remained free for more than four years following his conviction. He finally was sent to jail in September 2013. See our detailed summary of the Grassi case with links to articles.
2Fr. Rubén Pardo
- In 2003, a priest with AIDS who had admitted to his bishop that he had sexually assaulted a boy was discovered to be hiding from law enforcement in a vicarage in the archdiocese of Buenos Aires, then headed by Bergoglio. Pardo also was reportedly hearing children’s confessions and teaching in a nearby school. One of Bergoglio’s auxiliary bishops, with whom he met every two weeks, appears to have lived at the vicarage at the same time. Typically, an ordinary must give permission for a priest to live and work in his diocese. It is unlikely that Pardo lived and ministered in Buenos Aires without Bergoglio’s approval. See our detailed summary of the Pardo case.
3Brother Fernando Enrique Picciochi, S.M.
- After a victim discovered that his abuser had fled Argentina to the US, eluding law enforcement, the victim sought Bergoglio’s help in getting released from the confidentiality order imposed by the cleric’s religious order. He conveyed his request in meetings with Bergoglio’s private secretary and with the auxiliary bishop, current archbishop Mario Poli. The archdiocese would not help. See our detailed summary of the Picciochi case.
4Rev. Mario Napoleon Sasso
- In 2001, following a diagnosis as a pedophile at a church-run treatment center, Sasso was made pastor of a very poor parish with a community soup kitchen in the Zárate-Campana diocese. In 2002-2003, he sexually assaulted at least five little girls in his bedroom off the soup kitchen. In 2006, with Sasso in jail but not yet convicted, the parents of the little girls reportedly sought Bergoglio’s help. Bergoglio was then president of the Argentine bishops’ conference, and the soup kitchen was just 25 miles from the Buenos Aires archdiocese. Bergoglio would not meet with them. See our detailed summary of the Sasso case.
5Rev. Carlos Maria Gauna
- Gauna was an archdiocesan priest under Bergoglio’s direct supervision. In 2001, two girls at a school filed a criminal complaint saying Gauna had touched them inappropriately. Bergoglio reportedly was going to look into it. Gauna still works in the Buenos Aires archdiocese. Notably, he’s now a deacon and a hospital chaplain – possible indicators that Bergoglio considered the allegations credible but decided to demote him rather than remove him from ministry. See our detailed summary of the Gauna case.
It is no wonder that Pope Francis is ‘backsliding’ on pedophilia because he himself could be involved in some of the scandals listed above. Marie Collins further states;
“It is devastating in 2017 to see that these men still can put other concerns before the safety of children and vulnerable adults,” she said in an editorial published online March 1 by the National Catholic Reporter.
“However, despite the Holy Father approving all the recommendations made to him by the commission, there have been constant setbacks,” Collins said in a statement published on her website, mariecollins.net.
“This has been directly due to the resistance by some members of the Vatican Curia to the work of the commission. The lack of cooperation, particularly by the dicastery most closely involved in dealing with cases of abuse, has been shameful,” she said.
She said the “last straw” that led to her handing in her letter of resignation was when she learned that the same dicastery that refused to cooperate on the safeguarding guidelines had also refused “to implement one of the simplest recommendations the commission has put forward to date.”
The recommendation, which the pope instructed that all Vatican departments follow, asked that every Vatican office “ensure all correspondence from victims/survivors receives a response. I learned in a letter from this particular dicastery last month that they are refusing to do so,” she said.
“I find it impossible to listen to public statements about the deep concern in the church for the care of those whose lives have been blighted by abuse, yet to watch privately as a congregation in the Vatican refuses to even acknowledge their letters!”
“It is a reflection of how this whole abuse crisis in the church has been handled: with fine words in public and contrary actions behind closed doors,” she said.
The Vatican is against protecting children and the Pope is against defending children. Sexual abuse cases surrounding the Catholic Church are stacking higher and higher. Which is why according to Kristina Keneally, in Australia, “Catholicism has done more harm to Australia than Islam.” What say you reader?
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Australian Associated Press. “Pope may be backsliding on paedophile crackdown, Catholic official says.” The Guardian. . (2017): . .
Kristina Keneally . “Catholicism has done more harm to Australia than Islam. Where's the outrage?” The Guardian. . (2017): . .
Carol Galtz. “Abuse survivor quits papal body, citing Vatican resistance to safeguarding.” Catholic News Service. . (2017): . .
BishopAccountability.org. “Pope Francis and Clergy Sexual Abuse in Argentina.” BishopAccountability.org. . (NA): . .