Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Vatican to Catholics: Don't Get Your Hopes Up

Bishop Livieres, looking like a kindly Lex Luthor.
Below is the press release from SNAP on the Bishop Livieres issue.  
It had appeared as if Livieres had been the first and only bishop removed from office since the Sex Scandal broke over ten years ago.  And even though his case was particularly egregious - making an accused child molester his vicar general, even after being warned by other bishops that the man was a danger to others, and then lashing out against the Vatican publicly - still this appeared to be good news.  It appeared as if Pope Francis was setting the bar very low, but at least he was setting the bar.  After all, if you won't sack a bishop for making an accused child molester and scam artist his vicar general and allowing him continued access to boys, then how serious are you about reforming the very worst element in the Church?
And indeed for the first time since the crisis, the Vatican seemed to be getting serious about the problem, forcing into "house arrest" an archbishop and former Vatican envoy who is reported to have been molesting boys in the Dominican Republic and who was discovered to have over 100,000 pornographic images of children on his computer.
But now the Vatican makes it a point to slap some cold water in our faces.  
Bishop Livieres has NOT been removed for enabling and promoting an accused child molester and scam artist, but for other reasons that apparently the Vatican regards as none of our business, allowing Livieres to spread the story that it's all a right vs. left power struggle.
This is disheartening.  I had written last week that the forces of corruption can only oppose the Spirit of God with an "arm of flesh", and that remains true.  But this same Spirit of God seems quite emphatic here.  We are not to put our hopes in mere men - including our popes and bishops.  Indeed, it seems, we are not even to trust them.
For immediate release: Sunday, Sept. 28
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,
Vatican officials now deny that a controversial bishop in Paraguay was ousted because he hired and promoted a credibly accused abusive cleric who faced allegations of sexual misdeeds in Argentina, Minnesota and Pennsylvania. (He is Fr. Carlos Urruigoity.)
That's basically what we said several days ago:
So many people so desperately want to believe that Francis is really addressing the church's continuing abuse and cover up crisis that they interpret his words about the scandal in the most favorable light possible and then allow themselves to feel comfortable and complacent instead of skeptical and vigilant. It's a real shame.
We endanger kids and insult victims when we leap to the most rosy conclusions possible about Catholic officials and their handling of this on-going crisis. Let's give the benefit of the doubt to innocent kids, wounded victims and betrayed Catholics, not to one more popular and powerful Catholic official.
Even now, after decades of horrific disclosures about the complicity of the church hierarchy in child sex crimes, many of us find it hard to accept that a seemingly wonderful priest can molest kids or that a seemingly wonderful bishop can protect predators. And we evidently find it hard to accept that a seemingly wonderful pontiff can continue doing very little to reverse centuries of recklessness, deceit and secrecy with clergy sex crimes and cover ups.


Kevin O'Brien said...

I just wrote this to a friend ...


If these bishops and popes were in the corporate world, they would have crashed and burned long ago. If Livieres has indeed been sacked because of his opposition to "liberation theology", then the Vatican left itself wide open in not addressing that issue up front, fully knowing Livieres would squawk. And if they've sacked him for other reasons, not stating those reasons clearly up front leaves them just as wide open.

For men who seem to care much more for politics than for Christ, they sure the hell make rotten politicians.

Kevin O'Brien said...

And I just posted this on Facebook ...


check out Cyril Koob and his "Eponymous Flower" blog. He's been very critical of Urrutigoity in the past, but he's totally bought in to Livieres' interpretation of this event.

My frustration is, any idiot could have seen this coming. Livieres publicly attacked the Vatican after they suspended ordinations in his diocese. I predicted the day he was sacked that he'd squawk.

If I knew that would happen, then why didn't the Vatican realize that they were going to have to address the issue of WHY he was sacked. Is this really none of our business? Their silence has created a scandal. Now the right wing goes conspiracy theory crazy and the left wing is convinced Francis doesn't care about sex abuse - and yet the Vatican goes about its business as if this is an internal matter concerning policy and staffing.

This could not have been handled more poorly .

Anita Moore said...

Here, for what it's worth, is my personal take on the crisis in the Church.

The Church is in a period of chastisement. We are being punished for our sins. The current corruption in the Church set in more than a century ago, though it is only in the last 50 years or so that it began to be obvious. I think the attempt to bury the traditional Mass was the lancing of the boil. The beauty of the liturgy covered up the fact that we were worshiping with our lips and not with our hearts. Once that was taken away, the infection was set in front of our faces.

Yet this did not make us recoil in horror and repent. Instead, we rejoiced in the exhilaration of finally having our own way, as opposed to doing things God's way. Now, we are practically in a state of prostration, though there are still many who don't see this. But the reality is that evil is having its hour, both in the Church and in the world at large. We are so overwhelmed with evil that we try desperately to spin things that come out of Rome as harbingers of reform. We hail the tiniest victories as great successes and a sign that things are getting better. Yet these soon get swallowed up in the status quo ante, and before you know it, we are back to square one.

Things are so bad that only God can turn them around. We are long past the point of being able to rely solely on our own efforts. We must amend our lives, pray and do penance. Then, when the Holy Spirit does make His move, we will not need to wonder whether things are starting to turn around. There will be no doubt.

Steve said...

"This could not have been handled more poorly." No kidding. It appears to me that both right and left may be correct. There is a conspiracy and Francis doesn't really care about sex abuse. This is what happens when folks care more about politics (power) than Christ and souls.

After the Sunday sermon about St. Margaret Mary and reparations for sins (personal and corporate) that so hurt The Sacred Heart of Jesus, I second Anita's third paragraph.