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The Pope Is The Problem

Stunning news from the US Catholic bishops’ meeting in Baltimore: [1]

The bishops of America’s 196 Catholic dioceses and archdioceses gathered in Baltimore on Monday morning, meeting for the first time since sexual abuse scandals rocked the church in the summer. They planned to vote on measures to tackle the crisis and prevent further crimes.

In the opening minutes of their meeting, the bishops heard a surprising report: Pope Francis had asked them not to vote on any of their proposals.

The pope does not want U.S. bishops to act to address bishops’ accountability on sexual abuse until he leads a worldwide meeting in February of church leaders, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, told the gathered bishops as the meeting opened Monday morning.

“At the insistence of the Holy See, we will not be voting on the two action items,” DiNardo said. He said he was “disappointed” by the pope’s directive.

Anne Barrett Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org [2], called the last-minute order from the Vatican “truly incredible.”

“What we see here is the Vatican again trying to suppress even modest progress by the U.S. bishops,” said Doyle, whose group compiles data on clergy abuse in the church. “We’re seeing where the problem lies, which is with the Vatican. The outcome of this meeting, at best, was going to be tepid and ineffectual, but now it’s actually going to be completely without substance.”

Read the whole thing [1] to see what the papal nuncio told the bishops this morning. Jaw-dropping.

Any illusions that Francis was part of the solution to this crisis should now be dispelled. He is the chief stonewaller. Archbishop Viganò told us so. [3]

As I’ve been writing since visiting Rome earlier this autumn, the atmosphere in the Vatican is one of siege and denial. One has the impression that Francis is like Pius IX, desperately trying to defend the Papal States — except in Francis’s case, he’s trying to defend the Church’s ability to control events — and, let’s be honest, to cover up for priestly buggery and episcopal corruption. It’s as if Uncle Ted were sitting at his right side, Wormtonguing [4] all the livelong day.

What must it feel like to be a faithful Catholic mother and father this morning, knowing that even 16 years after Boston, and mere months after learning that a senior American cardinal was in fact a serial molester, the Holy Father does not take the abuse crisis seriously? For heaven’s sake, the US Catholic Church is facing a federal RICO investigation! And still, the pontiff punts. If you read the nuncio’s quote, you’ll see that the Pope does not intend to give the laity any say in the reform that the Catholic bishops have manifestly been unable to carry out.

From Barbara Tuchman’s The March Of Folly, this passage on how six Renaissance popes provoked the Protestant Reformation:

The folly of the popes was not pursuit of counter-productive policy so much as rejection of any steady or coherent policy either political or religious that would have improved their situation or arrested the rising discontent. Disregard of the movements and sentiments developing around them was a primary folly. They were deaf to disaffection, blind to the alternative ideas it gave rise to, blandly impervious to challenge, unconcerned by the dismay at their misconduct and the rising wrath at their misgovernment, fixed in refusal to change, almost stupidly stubborn in maintaining a corrupt existing system. They could not change it because they were part of it, grew out of it, depended on it.

Plus ça change…

Read David Spotanski’s incredible 2002 letter [5]in light of the Pope’s move today.

UPDATE: A prominent Catholic theologian e-mails:

Can there be any doubt? PF is a liar, a hypocrite, a fraud, radically corrupt, and gravely, gravely wounding the Church of which he is head.

I am beside myself with anger right now. PF is more interested in showing his supposed ‘enemies’ who’s boss than he is in dealing with evil. He is more interested in preserving his image and his friends, than in seeking truth. He is all about himself at this point, completely blinded to the needs of others. He hides his corruption and bankruptcy and pride behind a patina of ‘synodality’ and ‘humility.’

My only hope is that Christ will use him to scourge the Church and bring about its renewal. We must suffer the death-pangs of an ecclesial era that we have allowed to fester for decades. Pope Francis is both a cause and a symptom. He is a disgrace to every victim of abuse and to every person committed to reforming the Church.

Obviously I am not going to reveal the name of this theologian — who, not coincidentally, is a father — but I tell you this: I bet he never, in his wildest dreams, imagined ever writing words like this about a pope. Yet here we are.

UPDATE.2: Here is a link to the text of the papal nuncio’s address.  [6]

Phil Lawler, whose brand-new book about the crisis [7] is a must-read for concerned Catholics, weighs in:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [10]

UPDATE.3: Catholic writer Lee Podles, author of Sacrilege — Loome Theological Booksellers has a number of copies [11] — on Facebook:

UPDATE.4: Ed Condon of Catholic News Agency reports on today’s events. [12] Excerpts:

Speaking before the conference session had even been called to order, DiNardo told the bishops he was clearly “disappointed” with Rome’s decision. The cardinal said that, despite the unexpected intervention by Rome, he was hopeful that the Vatican meeting would prove fruitful and that its deliberations would help improve the American bishops’ eventual measures.

While DiNardo was still speaking, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago intervened from the floor, expressing his support for the pope.

“It is clear the the Holy See is taking the abuse crisis seriously,” Cupich said.

At the same time, he suggested that the work which had gone into preparing the two proposals should not go to waste.

Cupich suggested that if the conference could not take a binding vote, they should instead continue with their discussions and conclude with resolution ballot on the two measures. This, he said, would help best equip Cardinal DiNardo to present the thought of the American bishops during the February meeting, where he will represent the U.S. bishops’ conference.

That’s actually not a bad idea. Make Francis own this terrible decision.

UPDATE.5: On the other hand:

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js [10]

Well, maybe. But you know, there were actually people who convinced themselves that John Paul II had a secret plan to defeat the scandal, and if everybody just calmed down and trusted the Pope, everything would work out.

UPDATE.6: Church chronicler Rocco Palmo points out that Pope Francis didn’t want the bishops meeting this November anyway. It beggars belief to think that Francis had canonical problems with the US bishops’ proposals, but only sprung it on them the morning they were gathering to talk about the proposals. And, the Pope has known since this summer, when his very good friend Ted McCarrick was outed as a molester, that the American episcopate was in crisis. Recall that he kept USCCB chief Cardinal DiNardo cooling his heels for weeks, despite DiNardo’s urgent request for an audience.

I don’t know what Francis’s game is here, but he long ago surrendered the benefit of the doubt.

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100 Comments To "The Pope Is The Problem"

#1 Comment By Ted On November 12, 2018 @ 2:39 pm

Wryman: “So maybe it makes sense to wait a bit.” Did it make sense then to resolve publicly to humiliate the U.S. bishops? The general interest press is splashing this story now (a WSJ Breaking News alert just showed up on my mobile). Francis knew exactly how this would play (the media is something he understands). He doesn’t care what the laity thinks. He wants Day Late and Dollar Short Dan DiNardo to know who’s boss.

#2 Comment By David Allen On November 12, 2018 @ 3:16 pm

The Church remains the Church because of her divine origin, but this Pontificate remains a Banana Republic.

#3 Comment By thomas tucker On November 12, 2018 @ 3:17 pm

@Wryman: I thought this Pope was all about allowing different bishops’ conferences to do things in different ways, No?

#4 Comment By Leslie Fain On November 12, 2018 @ 3:36 pm

I wish you would bump this up b/c of the updates. Btw, Ed Condon has a good tweet on the mood in Baltimore.

#5 Comment By RND On November 12, 2018 @ 3:37 pm

Note the disparity of Francis’ intervention today in the USCCB meeting compared to his (lack of) intervention in the actions of other episcopal conferences (i.e. Germany or Malta) in regards to their interpretation of Amoris Laetitia and the reception of Holy Communion.

Synodality? Only when it furthers non-judgment of sexual preferences…

It sure seems like they’re afraid of any investigation going above and beyond the local church.

Today is the Bishops’ Day of Prayer and this should make for an interesting one. Come, Holy Spirit, fill their hearts and minds…

Tomorrow is when the voting began on the proposals – Cupich’s suggestion of a nonbinding vote may yet be heeded, but I suspect he’s playing a game: the conference can take a no-risk action at saving face, repackage the proposals as a recommendation for the February synod and wipe their hands clean. This would allow the Conference to appear to have done something and get on to the “Bigger Agenda” that Cupich champions in Francischurch.

If nothing else, the message from Rome is clear: American Catholics, you’re on our own.

Not only can doctrines now change at borders, but the cavalry isn’t coming to help. This isn’t new or surprising, its just chrystal clear now.

Ben Op, now!

#6 Comment By charles cosimano On November 12, 2018 @ 3:39 pm

“It seems clear to me that Francis and his acolytes are counting on attorneys general in the U.S. to NOT prosecute cases of same-sex sexual abuse, e.g. of seminarians. That is where the proverbial rubber will meet the road.”

It’s a sound gamble. Canoodling with the seminarians is not a crime in and of itself and proving abuse is very difficult. I doubt a single case will even get to trial. To non-Catholics it is just funny.

#7 Comment By Ben On November 12, 2018 @ 3:43 pm

So just what in Hell is going to be the papolators’ (“paging Mark Shea, Mark Shea call your blog!”) response to this latest outrage?

Someone else let us know – I can’t stomach it anymore.

#8 Comment By alan stemp On November 12, 2018 @ 3:49 pm

The US Bishop’s conference is not an indispensable organ, anyway.

There is NOTHING that stops these individual bishops from acting properly within their own dioceses. Where they are KINGs.

The whole code of conduct scam was a mere fig leaf, anyway.

And now, they are “let off the hook” by Pope Francis, so they can wring their hands and say “we tried.”

By their fruits you will know them.

#9 Comment By Gerard On November 12, 2018 @ 3:51 pm

The Merciful One wants to let his quislings and sycophants know that not only are they going to have take his lies into their mouths, but they’re also going to have to swallow them whole.

He’s taken the measure of these people, the Cupiches and their ilk, and know all of them will perform as instructed.

Still, there is something beyond our comprehension happening here. To quote Stonewall Jackson as he surveyed the awful carnage of a Civil War battlefield: He who does not see the hand of God in this is blind, sir, blind!

#10 Comment By REJ On November 12, 2018 @ 4:08 pm

“Waiting until the last moment to inform the American bishops that they could not vote on proposals to end abuse was a deliberate humiliation. Francis wanted them to know who’s boss.”

OR, the big smiles in that pic at the Vatican when the USCCB delegation met with PF in Sept. was right after they came up with this strategy to prevent any actual reform from taking place. They probably back-slapped and high-fived each other at the end of the meeting.
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#11 Comment By stmonicapray4me On November 12, 2018 @ 4:27 pm

S.M. Hutchins says: “Francis’s pontificate has now made that perception incredible for Catholics who are willing to look at what is happening; the gap between the theory and the reality has been opened wide enough under a duly elected pope to demonstrate to the candid mind that the Roman Congregation is not, and therefore was never, what it believed itself to be”

This isn’t our first rodeo. The Church has been around for 2000 years, despite historic epic fails in hierarchy. Our faith is not dependent on her leadership. We rest in the unchanging truth of the Eucharist.

As Frank J. Sheed so eloquently said:

“We are not baptized into the hierarchy; do not receive the Cardinals sacramentally; will not spend an eternity in the beatific vision of the pope. … Christ is the point. I, myself, admire the present pope [John Paul II], but even if I criticized him as harshly as some do, even if his successor proved to be as bad as some of those who have gone before, even if I find the church, as I have to live with it, a pain in the neck, I should still say that nothing a pope (or a priest) could do or say would make me wish to leave the church, although I might well wish that they would leave.”

or Hillaire Belloc:

“The Catholic Church is an institution I am bound to hold divine — but for unbelievers a proof of its divinity might be found in the fact that no merely human institution conducted with such knavish imbecility would have lasted a fortnight.”

Amen.

#12 Comment By BXVI On November 12, 2018 @ 5:24 pm

It should be clear by now that Pope Francis sees the U.S. episcopate as his “enemies.” He thinks they are taking advantage of the McCarrick situation to attack him and is so-called reforms, and to derail his agenda. He thinks that they, together with their and malevolent “conservative” fake-news allies, have manufactured this crisis and manipulated the laity into a raging mob. For Pope Francis, sodomy among the clergy (so long as it is not criminal pederasty) is really not that big of a deal. To him, it is a private sin like any other and it is actually evil to publicly expose someone who is guilty of such a sin. He also clearly wants to normalize homosexuality and so he cannot ever admit that this “crisis” (if it is one) is related to homosexuality: it MUST be characterized as resulting from “clericalism.”

#13 Comment By jay On November 12, 2018 @ 5:28 pm

Cardinal Cupich is a disingenuous careerist whose instinct drives him to defend the Pope even at the expense of his brother bishops. There is no benefit to him individually for assisting Card. DiNardo’s effort.

One of the chief comforts of being a Catholic now is the certainty that those who harm the Church, from Francis on down, will earn a just, if non-earthly, punishment for their hard work.

#14 Comment By Jim Jatras On November 12, 2018 @ 5:32 pm

@S.M. Hutchens

“To Orthodoxy with its own perfect assurances, presently in a schism that *reveals its claim to being the one, true, undivided Church as doubtful as that of Rome*?”

How so? Perhaps that claim might seem “doubtful” if orderly structure were the sine qua non of truth, but given human failings we can be thankful it is not. There never has been a period when the Church did not experience schisms. They are painful while they last, but in the end they are resolved, either by reunion or by one side falling away from the Church. This latest between Moscow and Constantinople (fortunately, only between them for now and hopefully will stay that way) will be no different.

Give it a few months, or years, or decades …

#15 Comment By BF On November 12, 2018 @ 6:11 pm

Why is Pope Francis so eager to defend the homosexual bishops and priests? Is he secretly one of them, or does someone really have the goods on him, and is threatening him with exposure?

#16 Comment By scotty On November 12, 2018 @ 6:14 pm

victims of abuse have always said that “justice delayed is justice denied”–this is just the latest example by a Pope who seems to blow about like a weathervane–just wait a bit and he may blow in your direction…or maybe not.

#17 Comment By Ex aedibus On November 12, 2018 @ 6:15 pm

Firstly, thank you so very much for letting us know where to find Lee Podles’ book. I found a copy at Loome and am presently reading. As a priest, it is a sobering document. I love my Church and I believe and profess all that she believes and professes. I meant what I said on that day when I laid my hand on the Book of Gospels and swore the Oath of Fidelity.

That being said, with regards to the present occupant of the Chair of Peter, while I do pray for him and earnestly want him to do the right thing, I’ve long ago given up hope that he will. He may have learned governance from Juan Domingo Perón and may govern as a Peronist. He may be a tin pot dictator. And he’s our tin pot dictator. As far as many of my brother priests are concerned, his credibility is shot and this latest action is yet another nail in the coffin of his credibility.

The Viganò letter was a turning point. I still have yet to see that any of the Archbishop’s accusations have been disproven. (I met Archbishop Viganò before and now count myself incredibly lucky. I have also met Pope Francis.) How can I good conscience use anything he has written? A few weeks before Archbishop Viganò’s first testimony came out, I had ordered a book which sought to vanquish all doubts regarding Amoris laetitia. The book sits unread. It doesn’t even seem to be worth the effort.

I will not deny that this situation has caused me many doubts and anxieties. I know that this is causing problems for some of my faithful. I know this because of parishioners who come to me for confession or spiritual direction with these very same doubts. It is really only among some, and I mean some, of my brother priests that I can voice these doubts and anxieties.

I remain a committed Catholic, though. I firmly believed in what I professed before my priesthood ordination. I still believe that today. But I would be lying if I said that there is not pain and suffering on account of all that Pope Francis has done and sought to undo.

#18 Comment By ginger On November 12, 2018 @ 6:24 pm

As if these US Bishops could possibly be trusted to police themselves in any way, shape, or form. Whatever came out of this meeting would have simply been more smoke and mirrors.

I don’t know what PF’s game is here. Maybe it’s nothing more than showing the already-much-despised US Bishops who’s boss. But I wouldn’t put it past him to have a long game in mind, either.

In the meantime, I can’t help but feel relieved the US Bishops were not given the opportunity to try to fool US Catholics into believing they actually cared or planned to do anything substantial to solve the problem.

I don’t trust any of them, and it bothers me not one iota that Francis kept them from trying to razzle-dazzle us with their BS yet again. They are truly a joke at this point. If PF wants to put an exclamation point on that sad fact with some strong-arm techniques, so be it. They had it coming.

And if the institution of the Roman Catholic Church would rather enable the sexual abuse of children (and adults) all around the world than pass strong preventive measures that apply across the board, then it is a blessing for the light to be shone on that in February, too.

It’s time everybody knows what they are dealing with here.

#19 Comment By Bontjed On November 12, 2018 @ 6:25 pm

“You know that your headline could have been written by Martin Luther… Its not whether the Pope is a liberal or a libertine or a conservative or wears a hair shirt and takes baths in cold water… Its centralizing earthly power over spiritual practice and church administration in a Pope.”

I agree with this 100%. Pastors in churches with presbyterian or congregational forms of government certainly can and do fall into various sexual sins, but the problem tends not to be a systemic one. When a pastor fools around, word gets around and they tend not to be called to other congregations, and the church council can fire a transgressing pastor. However, I don’t see how the Roman church can move away from the priestly hierarchy/papal imperium model without changing into something completely new. The poor faithful in the pews may be stuck with it.

I’m struck by the fact that Rod and most of the commentators her have failed to mentioned the other obvious (to me, anyway) cause for the sexual abuse problem: the all-male, all celibate priesthood. It makes zero sense to maintain that homosexual activity and the sexual abuse of teenagers is sinful and has no part in the church (and most of the abusers are really ephebophiles, that is, sexually attracted to young but post-pubescent teenagers), but then to design an organization that is extremely attractive to homosexual men. It’s hard to improve upon the all-male celibate preisthood, although same-sex boarding schools or the Imperial British navy probably come close.

The obvious (to me, anyway) solution is allowing married priests, and allowing women into the priesthood. The prevalence of ephebophiles is a telling detail: the Roman priesthood attracts not only homosexual men, but also emotionally-immature men. Marriage has a tendency to force immature people into growing up. I think a married priesthood would be a jarring change to the Roman church, but wouldn’t fundamentally alter it like moving to a more congregational form of government would.

#20 Comment By Dee On November 12, 2018 @ 6:28 pm

I firmly believe the fix was in! This way the American bishops could go home wringing their hands, and of course this is not their fault that they could do nothing. Oh sigh, we will just have to wait until February!!!!! PATHETIC!!!!

#21 Comment By Leslie Fain On November 12, 2018 @ 6:51 pm

Does anyone want to take a stab at this?

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#22 Comment By Tim O’Donnell On November 12, 2018 @ 7:13 pm

Rod-
Your inclusion of a picture of Baghdad Bob and corresponding meme in update 4 was inspired, magnificent, glorious, and 100% absolutely PERFECT!!!! You made me laugh, which was needed on this rather dark day.

#23 Comment By Antonio On November 12, 2018 @ 7:44 pm

I think it’s time to swim the Bosphorus.

#24 Comment By Irish99 On November 12, 2018 @ 7:46 pm

It’s pointless. Both the getting upset about it and the bishops themselves discussing and voting on some method for handling anything related to sexual abuse. They’ve had ample opportunities to do the right thing and failed. Whatever they come up with now will neither fix their prior failures nor inspire confidence in any Catholic, anywhere. If anyone should craft any new policy, it ought to be the laity. And they need to be female.

#25 Comment By A faithful son of St. Dominic On November 12, 2018 @ 8:07 pm

Pope Francis and his minions are typical liberals. They believe in dialog … until they hold the reins of power. They believe in lay empowerment … until the laity ask for traditional forms. They believe in collegiality … until the pope is one of their own.

#26 Comment By Clifford On November 12, 2018 @ 8:09 pm

Conciliar form of church authority is looking pretty darn good right now…

#27 Comment By Ben On November 12, 2018 @ 8:23 pm

Last night I was having second thoughts about sending my hotly-worded condemnation to my archbishop. I even took it out of the envelope, intending to rewrite it with more charitable, less accusatory words this morning.

No more. He and his episcopal brothers deserve every epithet.

Holy Mother of God, crush the heads of these lavender serpents defiling the Church!!!!

#28 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 12, 2018 @ 8:26 pm

Even if they have to close down, like Sears they are sitting on billions in real estate and can continue indefinitely even if no one’s left but a hierarchy.

#29 Comment By Dale Price On November 12, 2018 @ 8:29 pm

Crux reports that on November 8 the French bishops implemented an independent external commission too look into sexual abuse.

Not a peep from the Vatican or any worries about a lack of uniformity. Martin’s argument flies like a cast-iron kite.

#30 Comment By Dale McNamee On November 12, 2018 @ 8:44 pm

The Pope isn’t the only problem… It’s the Cardinals who elected him…

God is judging the Church…

#31 Comment By Rick On November 12, 2018 @ 11:02 pm

Every Cardinal who voted for Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave should resign from the College. Now. They know who they are.

#32 Comment By Leslie Fain On November 13, 2018 @ 12:29 am

From the CNA article: “The last plenary council in the United States took place in 1884. The Vatican would almost certainly deny a USCCB petition for one. But there could be hardly any stronger expressions of an American commitment to American solutions to this problem than the petition itself.”

This is something we could write to the USCCB and request.

#33 Comment By Monica Seeley On November 13, 2018 @ 1:50 am

This is deeply disturbing, but no longer surprising. What is surprising is the transparency with which these machinations are carried out.

I firmly believe that the only thing that will really get the attention of Francis and Co. is money, or lack there-of. Therefore, not another penny of mine is going to the institutional church as long as this monkey business continues.

#34 Comment By Maria On November 13, 2018 @ 7:32 am

What we are seeing here is, ironically, living proof of what Ratzinger/Benedict 16 told us for years: it all boils down to culture. (If you haven’t read his “Truth and Tolerance,” I urge you to do so. If you have, I urge you to read it again.)

The College of Cardinals elected someone from Argentina, failing to understand that Argentinians have lived for decades with the assumptions that
1. all authority is corrupt;
2. laws/rules are ipso facto unjust and repressive;
3. poor people are always victims of the rich;
4. rich people always gained their money unjustly, at the expense of the poor; and
5. the whole world is like Argentina.

And we’re surprised at what we’re seeing?

Look, I’ll be the last one to defend the First-World, which IMO is busily destroying itself by eradicating its own culture. But let’s not forget that it’s all relative, it can get worse. In the Vatican, it already has.

#35 Comment By Ted On November 13, 2018 @ 9:00 am

ginger: if you want to know what Francis’s long game is, read brother BXVI above:

… “For Pope Francis, sodomy among the clergy (so long as it is not criminal pederasty) is really not that big of a deal. To him, it is a private sin like any other and it is actually evil to publicly expose someone who is guilty of such a sin. He also clearly wants to normalize homosexuality and so he cannot ever admit that this ‘crisis’ (if it is one) is related to homosexuality: it MUST be characterized as resulting from ‘clericalism.'”

I can’t do any better than that. I would cavil at the “criminal pederasty” exception though. Depends on the jurisdiction’s age of consent, you know?

#36 Comment By TR On November 13, 2018 @ 9:02 am

1. Francis’s message probably came at the last minute because there was internal dissent in the Vatican. Most bishops’ meetings that I have watched have included expressions of frustration over the Vatican unable to get its act together on some question or other.

2. The American bishops, if they were at all united, could pass all kinds of resolutions showing where they stand and that they oppose delay. In short, Francis may be giving them cover.

#37 Comment By Elijah On November 13, 2018 @ 10:49 am

“Our faith is not dependent on her leadership. We rest in the unchanging truth of the Eucharist.”

Which you can only receive from whom?

“Every Cardinal who voted for Bergoglio in the 2013 Conclave should resign from the College. Now. They know who they are.”

What makes you think they’re unhappy with him?

Like Rod, I am not Catholic (I’ve been tempted many times) but I pray for and rely on the Catholic Church as a Christian bulwark.

But Catholics are kind of over a barrel in the present situation, since nobody who has any real power seems to care about what is happening to the Church other than the feds and District Attorneys.

Heaven help the Catholic Church if it depends upon civil authorities conducting criminal raids and investigations for reform and renewal.

#38 Comment By William Tighe On November 13, 2018 @ 1:03 pm

This today from Archbishop Vigano:

“Dear Brother Bishops in the US,

I am writing to remind you of the sacred mandate you were given on the day of your episcopal ordination: to lead the flock to Christ. Meditate on Proverbs 9:10: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! Do not behave like frightened sheep, but as courageous shepherds. Do not be afraid of standing up and doing the right thing for the victims, for the faithful and for your own salvation. The Lord will render to every one of us according to our actions and omissions.

I am fasting and praying for you.

Arch. Carlo Maria Viganò
Your former Apostolic Nuncio

November 13, 2018
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini”

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#39 Comment By Sid Finster On November 13, 2018 @ 3:01 pm

@Maria: the whole world *is* like Argentina. To the extent that the whole world is not, these are differences of degree and not kind.

As an aside, the attempts to defend Francis’s actions (or those of JPII or Benedict) remind me of nothing so much as those of Trump or Obama cultists desperately trying to protect their hero, even as he betrays them over and over again.

#40 Comment By Msgr. Eric Barr On November 13, 2018 @ 3:46 pm

This is the right decision. At first you may not think so but consider, the meeting has no authoritative standing, the US bishops are not autonomous, the pope issues binding secrets, the Vatican dib not say they couldn’t discuss it, they said they couldn’t vote on it. Their discussion will be fruitful for the February Vatican Meeting. It amazes me that many of the worst critics of the Vatican’s action would die on the sword of any other issue that sought to weaken the pope’s authority but here they want the bishops to act independently. Can’t have It both ways.

#41 Comment By Jack Gordon On November 13, 2018 @ 4:29 pm

Look how open and brazen this move on Francis’ part is; he makes no pretense even of consistency any longer (remember how great “collegiality” was just a week or so ago?). What strikes me is the many parallels between the Bergoglian cohort at the Vatican and the Democrat Party they admire in the US. Right now the Democrats are openly attempting to steal several elections around the country and Jorge Bergoglio decides it’s time to make his peronist impulses unmistakable. (I’m beginning to suspect there really was something to the rumors he tried to fund Crooked’s 2016 campaign with money from Peter’s Pence.)

#42 Comment By mike On November 13, 2018 @ 6:38 pm

There will be serious repercussions from this mess.
One of them will certainly be the emergence of Western Orthodox churches.
Will they be the main replacement for the Roman Church?
Or will most of the orthodox elements try to continue the battle within the Church?

#43 Comment By Fran Macadam On November 13, 2018 @ 6:53 pm

“I don’t know what Francis’s game is here, but he long ago surrendered the benefit of the doubt.”

Same game being played all along, by the looks of things. If they’re as bad as what has been revealed, what else would they do?

#44 Comment By Arthur McGowan On November 13, 2018 @ 9:42 pm

Sid Finster: Name an example of when Trump has “betrayed his cultists.” BTW: Name a “Trump cultist.” Name something Trump has done that is as evil as killing 65 million babies–something every Democrat supports.

Take all the time you need.

(I’m fed up with NeverTrump snobs.)

#45 Comment By Arthur McGowan On November 13, 2018 @ 9:52 pm

Peter Damien: If THOSE are “pretty boys,” then NOBODY is maintaining standards.

#46 Comment By Austin On November 14, 2018 @ 5:53 am

Pope Francis has failing memory. (He is also a sentimentalist about sacraments especially ordination and communion – just like almost all catholics!) He is the tool of Cardinals Parolin, Filoni, Bertone and Sodano who enjoy escaping criticism in your pieces.

(Ouellet has already admitted the correctness of Vigano’s charges.)

I think Vigano made a tactical mistake in equating Francis with these four. But at least anyone claiming to cite Vigano should include them in their criticisms. He did trouble to put their names in thick black ink.

Three Glory Be’s and three Our Fathers said.

#47 Comment By E.Patrick Mosman On November 14, 2018 @ 7:55 am

When the Cardinals selected the new Pope Francis my first concern was that he was a Jesuit. The Jesuits in general were the leaders of the Communist inspired armed “liberation” theology and I met several when working in South America 30+ years ago.Today Francis and the Jesuits substitute government intervention/anti-business theology for guns.
Pope Francis is a very nuanced thinker and the actual meaning of his writings and/or “sound bites” of what he has to say are often not helpful and confusion reigns.
Nuanced thinking (Nuanced definition, a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning,
response,) is the realm of politicians and those who seek to sow
confusion not for the head of the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Church.
The more often Pope Francis speaks “off the cuff” before crowds or especially
reporters, the more he reminds me of Peter Sellers’s Chance the gardener, better known
as Chauncey Gardiner, from the movie ‘Being There’ who spoke simple
words, spoken often due to confusion or to a stating of the obvious,
which are repeatedly misunderstood as profound and often, in the Pope’s
case when he speaks or writes on economic systems, capitalism, climate change, immigration and other worldly matters, several factually in error, or even matters of a possible/potential change in long held Catholic doctrine which are walked back or explained later by a Vatican spokesperson.
One example when Pope Francis replied “Who am I to judge?” which is essentially a direct repudiation of Jesus’s instructions to his Apostles “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 20-23
Just as the apostles were to carry Christ’s message to the whole world, so they were to carry his forgiveness or not, In other words to be judges.
Is it any wonder that different people hear different signals when the Pope writes or speaks?

#48 Comment By mike On November 14, 2018 @ 8:00 am

@Arthur McGowan
That’s it. There is now no overlap – zero common ground – between the Democrats and people who remember Christian Civilisation.
Many of the Left seem to think that – because of Trump’s insensitive language and his imperfect personal life – Republicans would switch to a party they see as the embodiment of evil.
To put it mildly, that is flawed thinking.

#49 Comment By Sid Finster On November 14, 2018 @ 11:06 am

Syria, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, to name but the first few examples to come to mind. Then let me know when Obamacare will be replaced, or when we will get that wall.

And the fact that Trump may for the time being be nominally pro-life in no wise excuses his other crimes.

#50 Comment By eddie too On November 14, 2018 @ 3:37 pm

if the victims of clerical sexual abuse have evidence, submit it to the civil authorities.

otherwise, everything said and written is primarily gossip, innuendo and unsupported allegations.

it would be far more wrong for church authorities to act based on hearsay and gossip, than for them to seek to verify and validate allegations.

repeatedly, the pennsylvania grand jury’s findings are primarily, by a large number, allegations lacking evidence other than the allegations. yet i read over and over about the pennsylvania grand jury’s finding as though they have extraordinary significance.

if you have evidence of clerical misconduct, give it to the civil authorities. gossiping hysterically is pointless, vulgar and wrong.