‘Pope Francis not doing enough against sexual abuse’


This 28 October 2018 video says about itself:

A child sex abuse scandal shakes the core of Chile’s Catholic Church

When Pope Francis visited Chile in 2017 he received a lukewarm reception. Once one of the most Catholic countries in Latin America, perception of the church in Chile has been challenged by revelations of widespread sexual abuse dating back decades.

There are hundreds, possibly thousands of victims. And prosecutors say the cover-up of the abuse reaches the highest level of the Chilean church.

The Pope is now taking action against members of the clergy in Chile. And he even invited three abuse survivors to Rome to speak and give their advice.

Correspondent Joel Richards brings us their story from Santiago.

There are daily developments in this case in Chile. Despite the Pope’s intervention a poll claims more than 83% of Chileans think the local Catholic Church is dishonest.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The criticism of [Pope Francis I‘s] approach to the abuse scandal grows. Pope Francis has underestimated that subject for too long, so think, eg, victims of abuse. They want the pope to be open about the role of high level clergymen, including his predecessors, in covering up the abuse.

Pope Francis, homophobia and child abuse in Ireland


Pope doll shop in Ireland, photo Hollandse Hoogte | Niall Carson

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

The World Meeting of Families Festival has started in Ireland, a Catholic conference on the importance of the family for society and faith. A visit by Pope Francis is planned as an absolute highlight.

And that is interesting, because the pope and the Vatican are no longer undisputed in the traditionally heavily Catholic Ireland. The series of abuse scandals in which the Catholic Church is involved, of course, makes the papal visit even more fraught. …

The organization of the family festival, which is funded by the Vatican, is known for its conservative standpoints: they are against abortion, contraceptives and same sex marriages. That does not go down well with the more progressive part of the Irish population, which is taking more and more distance from the church. …

Former President Mary McAleese is one of the most famous Irish critics of the pope and the Vatican. McAleese, herself a dedicated Catholic, thinks that the church is a bastion of misogyny and calls the way in which homosexuality is spoken about in the church evil.

McAleese is therefore not enthusiastic about the festival this weekend. “It’s always been essentially a right-wing rally… and it was designed for that purpose: to rally people, to get them motivated to fight against the rise of same-sex marriage, rights for gays, abortion rights, contraceptive rights“, she said earlier on Irish radio.

During the gay marriage referendum in 2015, McAleese was one of the most important people to campaign for the YES camp. McAleese has developed over the past years into someone who calls for modernization of the church. It is also no coincidence that tonight, two days before the papal visit, a documentary about her is broadcast by the Irish public broadcaster RTÉ.

She herself is a religious Catholic, and her son is homosexual. That does not have to bite each other, she says. …

Several action groups have also indicated that they will not be silenced for the next few days: a protest of clerical child abuse victims is planned.

At least 1,000 people gathered for a silent vigil in Tuam, Co Galway to remember the Tuam Babies this afternoon, while thousands also attended the Stand4Truth event in Dublin to show solidarity with victims of institutional abuse. A large crowd gathered for the silent vigil in Tuam to coincide with the Papal mass in Dublin: here.

This 8 March 2018 video is called Catholic Church ‘an empire of misogyny‘ – Mary McAleese.

Dutch right-wing bishops sabotage Pope Francis I


This video from the USA says about itself:

Conservatives Rage Against Pope Francis

23 September 2015

Pope Francis has been extremely open and outspoken on a number of different issues that touch on society, values, and politics. This is not sitting well with the right wing, who value the opinions of the owner class over religious leaders. Cenk Uygur and John Iadarola (Think Tank), hosts of the The Young Turks, break it down.

“Pope Francis quietly but forcefully made his priorities clear during his first full day in the United States on Wednesday, urging in a pair of speeches a renewed emphasis on tackling global poverty, confronting climate change, caring for migrants and providing a welcoming church that is pastoral rather than doctrinaire.

President Obama welcomed the spiritual leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics with the fanfare of trumpets and a show of solidarity, escorting him onto a red-carpeted stage at the South Portico of the White House and praising his moral authority that “comes not just through words but also through deeds.””

Read more here.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Francis, loved by the people, controversial to the church leadership

by Robert Chesal
Foreign affairs editor

He is still very popular. In five years time, Pope Francis has won many hearts for his humour and social engagement. But his unorthodox style has also sown division within the Roman Catholic Church. In the Netherlands too. …

But the high expectations that Francis has raised now threaten to turn against him. The last few months there has been a lot of criticism from the victims of sexual abuse by priests. In January, Francis got much criticism when he accused Chilean victims of slander. Before that, there were already writings on the wall when two victims, a Briton and an Irishman, resigned from the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

For Raymond Lelkens, himself a victim of the Jesuit-based Canisius College in Nijmegen, enough is enough. “Initially, the pope seemed to be different, but gradually it became clear that little has changed, beautiful words are spoken, but transparency is still lacking and protecting the organization remains priority number one.”

Though women’s rights activists are milder about Pope Francis, their patience may be near its end as well.

“I would like to say to him: give women leadership positions in the Vatican.” Laetitia van der Lans, theologian and communication advisor for Dutch parishes, is still enthusiastic about Francis. But according to her, he has to put his money where his mouth is.

“He’s talking about female genius, so go ahead in practice, and I’m not even talking about female priests, let women co-manage, not just in communication and culture.” With a more feminine church, the church may tilt the whole picture.”

‘Heresy’

Others in the church community want the pope to be less carried away by social pressure. The retired Brabant parish priest Cor Mennen even went so far as to accuse Francis of spreading heresies. He did so as co-signer of a letter to the pope by conservative clergy and theologians.

“Francis gives the impression of leaving the door ajar for gay marriage, and he translates his love of the poor into a left-wing political course, with support for Cuba and negotiations with the communist regime in China. Instead, he should maintain unity and spread Christian doctrine”, says Mennen.

So, according to Mennen, apparently the task of popes is to enforce unity based on the ‘Christian doctrine’ of Cuba-hating, China-hating and poor people-hating Donald Trump.

Fiery opposition to Francis also comes from the church leadership itself. Led by Cardinal Wim Eijk, the Dutch bishops’ conference keeps the Pope literally at a distance. Attempts to organize a papal visit to the Netherlands, which started in 2013, have been stopped by Eijk. With great tensions as a result.

Why the Dutch church leadership hates the idea of a visit by Francis is not certain. But sources within the church think it has to do with a difference in vision about the direction of the Roman Catholic Church. Cardinal Eijk, and many Dutch bishops with him, are said to be advocates of a church where everyone strictly adheres to the rules, even if that leads to a smaller church. That is in contrast to Francis, who has a vision of an open and hospitable church where everyone is welcome.

From 1970 on till Pope Francis, conservative popes filled vacancies in Dutch dioceses with right-wing bishops; still prevalent in the Dutch hierarchy. Quite some of these bishops practiced and/or covered up clerical child abuse. The most notorious one of these conservative newly Right Reverend gentlemen was the late Bishop Gijsen; the church admitted his child abuse only after he had died.

Pope Francis’ deserving and undeserving new saints


Romero commemorated in El Salvador

This 2016 photo shoes thousands of people in El Salvador in an annual procession, commemorating the murder of Archbishop Romero in 1980. The sign says: His murderers have not been on trial yet. Monsignor Romero is a saint of the people. Not of the prayer card.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Oscar Romero, the archbishop of El Salvador who was murdered in 1980, will be declared a saint. This has been announced by Pope Francis during a meeting of cardinals in Rome.

Romero is an icon for many Roman Catholics in Latin America. He committed himself to the poor and antagonized the Salvadoran elite and the army by denouncing repression, torture and social inequality.

Death squad

El Salvador was a right-wing dictatorship in those years and suffered a bloody civil war, which claimed many tens of thousands of lives. Countless priests who supported Romero in his struggle for human rights and his critique of the regime were murdered.

On March 24, 1980, Romero celebrated a mass in a hospital chapel when he was shot dead by a member of an extreme right death squad. In 2015 he was beatified during a ceremony in the capital San Salvador, attended by hundreds of thousands of people, including foreign heads of state. When he will be declared to be a saint is not yet known.

Paul VI

At the same time, the Vatican announced today that the former Pope Paul VI will be declared to be a saint later this year. The Italian was pope from 1963 until his death in 1978. He put an end to reforms within the church and confirmed the ecclesiastical prohibition of abortion and the use of contraceptives.

Clerical sexual abuse and papal visit in Chile


This video says about itself:

Catholic bishop heckled by opponents of child sex abuse

22 March 2015

Newly named bishop of Osorno in Chile Juan Barros was pushed and shoved by demonstrators carrying black balloons as he squeezed through the crowd in Saint Matthew’s Church.

Many Chilean Catholics say Barros covered up the sexual abuse of children committed by his superior Fr. Fernando Karadima Farina in the 1980s and ’90s.

Karadima was found guilty by the Vatican.

Read more here.

By Lucia Newman in Chile today:

Crisis of faith in Chile as pope visits amid sexual abuse scandal

Santiago, Chile – The last time a pope visited Chile was in 1987, when the then staunchly Catholic South American country was in the midst of military rule.

Even communists embraced John Paul II, because of the Chilean Church’s outspoken defence of human rights.

But 31 years on, the arrival of the first Latin American pope is not provoking the same euphoria.

Chile has suffered some of the worst cases of ecclesiastic sex abuse in the region, and the Catholic Church is paying the price.

When the former archbishop of Buenos Aires became Pope Francis in 2013, his charisma and above all his promises to reform some of the darkest practices of the Vatican, captured the imagination and admiration of much of the world, especially in his region.

He vowed that there would be zero tolerance for sex abuse within the Catholic Church and formed a special commission to investigate the issue, inviting two victims to take part.

Five years later, growing unhappiness over the Vatican’s follow up on zero tolerance is casting a shadow on the papal visit here.

The pontiff’s controversial decision to name Father Juan Barros as Bishop of Osorno, even though he was accused of facilitating and covering up abuses for Chile’s most notorious pedophile priest, Fernando Karadima, left many stupefied.

And when Pope Francis was caught on video telling a pilgrim in Rome that Osorno parishioners were suffering because they were “dumb” and “twisted by the left”, there was outrage.

Silvana Gonzalez is one of dozens of Catholics who protested on the steps of Osorno’s Cathedral on the eve of the Pope’s arrival.

“We are not happy to receive him, because he says one thing and does another. The Church continues covering up abuses and the pope rewards the culprits. And calling us dumb is an insolent offence that we cannot tolerate”, Gonzalez told Al Jazeera.

Just days before the pope’s arrival, the Boston-based research group bishopaccountability.org published a database listing some 70 Chilean priests, deacons, religious brothers and even a nun who have been accused of molesting children. Some remain in active ministry.

‘Millions of Catholics have lost faith’

Some 30 of Osorno’s parishioners are coming to Santiago for the Pope’s arrival. They will be joining other protesters who say they want to hold the pope accountable.

Among them is Juan Carlos Cruz, one of three of Karadima’s victims. He says the pope has betrayed Chile by defending the institution and re-victimising the survivors.

“The pope has great headlines but no follow up. Apart from Bishop Barros, we have Cardinal Errazuriz, who was rewarded by being named to the committee of eight cardinals that counsel him, along with George Pell, another abuser from Sydney”, says Cruz. “And the current Archbishop of Santiago, Ricardo Ezzati, has been named a cardinal, when he has covered up not only our abuses but those of many others.”

Pope Francis knows that in Chile and in Peru, where he will also stop, millions of Catholics have lost faith.

Just ahead of his trip, the pope ordered the Vatican to take over an elite Catholic group in Peru, after years of charges that its founder sexually abused scores of children and adult members .

And after saying that there was no room on the pope’s schedule to meet with abuse victims during his trip to Chile and Peru, the Vatican is now indicating that it won’t rule it out.

These are important gestures. But Pope Francis will have to do more to inspire trust in the Catholic Church, which in Chile is now the lowest in Latin America.

“In many countries but especially in Chile, sex abuses within the church have been and continue to be very painful. Cases are still being revealed. The pope’s visit here is an opportunity to tell him about these issues. What we need is an open heart to listen to what he has to say”, says Javier Peralta, director of the National Commission for the Papal Visit.

POPE FRANCIS STUNNED SEXUAL ABUSE VICTIMS OF A CHILEAN PRIEST By accusing them of slander. [HuffPost]

POPE Francis was accused yesterday of covering up the Chilean church child abuse scandal after reports he had read the allegations in 2015: here.

THE POPE HAS ADMITTED HE MADE ‘SERIOUS ERRORS’ IN HIS HANDLING OF CHILEAN SEX ABUSE ALLEGATIONS He plans to meet with Chilean bishops and with Chilean victims of clergy sexual abuse and ask each one personally for forgiveness. [HuffPost]

Pope Francis sacks Vatican sexual abuse office boss


This video says about itself:

1 July 2017

In what is considered to be a big shakeup, Pope Francis has replaced Catholicism’s top theologian, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller. Mueller, a conservative German cardinal, has reportedly been at odds for awhile with the pontiff’s vision of a more inclusive Church. In a statement from the Vatican Saturday, it was announced that Mueller’s five-year term as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith would not be renewed. The 69-year-old, who was appointed by former Pope Benedict in 2012, will reportedly be succeeded by the key department’s second in charge, Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer.

Pope shakes up Vatican by replacing conservative doctrinal chief: here.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Pope sacks head of sex abuse probes

Monday 3rd July 2017

POPE Francis sacked the head of the Vatican office that handles sex abuse cases at the weekend.

The dismissal of German Cardinal Gerhard Mueller underscores Irish clergy sex abuse survivor Marie Collins’s accusation in March that his department, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had impeded the pontiff’s efforts to end internal cover-ups.

This department is responsible for processing and evaluating all claims that priests have raped or molested minors.

Pope Francis named Cardinal Mueller’s deputy Monsignor Luis Ladaria Ferrer, a Spanish Jesuit, as the new head of the powerful office.

During Cardinal Mueller’s five-year term, it amassed a 2,000-case backlog and came under blistering criticism from abuse survivors.

The German conservative cardinal also questioned Pope Francis’s attempts to be more open to “imperfect” Catholics, such as divorcees.

The Pope released Australian Cardinal George Pell last week from his position as papal treasurer to face charges of sex offences in his homeland.

‘European refugee camps are concentration camps’, pope says


This video says about itself:

Pope likens migrant holding centers to ‘concentration camps’

22 April 2017

Pope Francis urged governments on Saturday to get migrants and refugees out of holding centers, saying many had become “concentration camps”.

During a visit to a Rome basilica, where he met migrants, Francis told of his trip to a camp on the Greek island of Lesbos last year.

He met a Muslim refugee from the Middle East there who told him how “terrorists came to our country”. Islamists had slit the throat of the man’s Christian wife because she refused to throw her crucifix on the ground.

“I don’t know if he managed to leave that concentration camp, because refugee camps, many of them, are of concentration (type) because of the great number of people left there inside them,” the pope said. …

Francis praised countries helping refugees and thanked them for “bearing this extra burden, because it seems that international accords are more important than human rights”.

He did not elaborate but appeared to be referring to agreements that keep migrants from crossing borders, such as deals between the European Union (EU) and Libya and the EU and Turkey. Humanitarian groups have criticized both deals.

The pope urged people in northern Italy, home to an anti-immigrant party, to take more migrants, hoping that the generosity of southern Italy could “infect the north a bit”.

Noting that Italy had one of the world’s lowest birth rates, he said: “If we also close the door to migrants, this is called suicide.”

The basilica of St Bartholomew is a shine to Christians killed for their faith in the 20th and 21st centuries.

The European Union bosses not only blackmail the Greek leftist Syriza government into breaking their promises to the Greek voters of stopping the disastrous austerity policies.

They also pressure Greece, and other European Union member governments, into treating refugees more harshly.

Another video which used to be on YouTube used to say about itself:

Greek minister slams conditions at Idomeni refugee camp

18 March 2016

Greek Interior Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis compared the Idomeni refugee site on the border between Greece and Macedonia to the infamous Dachau concentration camp while on a visit.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to say that this is a modern Dachau,” Kouroumplis said during his visit to the camp where thousands of people live in improvised tents, deprived of basic necessities, on Friday.

Idomeni “is a logical result of closed borders,” he said, adding that Greece “believes in Europe without borders.” Two improvised camps, hosting over 15,000 migrants, sprung up near the Idomeni crossing in late February after the Macedonian authorities closed its borders amid a massive refugee crisis in the EU.

Kouroumplis expressed regret over “the awakening of a kind of nationalism against the persecuted people” in Europe. He acknowledged that accepting 1.5 million migrants in no easy task, but said that the people stuck at Idomeni “didn’t leave their countries by choice, but were forced to flee by wars, in which Europe also participated.”

Kouroumplis is hardly the only one comparing the present refugee camps to Adolf Hitler’s camps, as we can see about Pope Francis.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV, 22 April 2017:

The situation in the Greek islands is very bad according to human rights organizations. … Migrants sleep in unheated tents, many refugees are ill and there are too few resources on the islands to recover health.

Tragedy off Lesvos: Sixteen Migrants Drown in Open Sea. By Katherine Filippeos – Apr 24, 2017: here.