|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, SNAPclohessy@aol.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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.