Cardinal Pell has been given six years in jail for his crimes against children.
Big ups to all the authorities including the Police who helped put him there. He’ll be in solitary for a while given the risk to his life inside. Becoming a concrete-surrounded hermit from society is appropriate. He will also be defrocked from the priesthood in short order.
It was also good to see the recent removal from the Priesthood of Theodore McCarrick, one of the church’s most prominent figures.
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin of Lyon is also going on trial for massive sex crime coverups next week.
Massimo Faggioli, speaking before last month’s conference on sex crimes, said: “In my opinion, [this is] the most serious crisis in the Catholic church since the Protestant Reformation.” The issue, he added, was being used to “radically delegitimize” Francis’s papacy.
Delegitimising? Pope Francis is doing that by himself.
He is beset by sexual abuse scandals that have been growing for a decade, and are coming to their full fruition now.
I had great hopes for Pope Francis, even though he had a pretty thin track record in structural reform. He’s talked about the “pain and shame” of the church, and deferred endlessly.
In reality the remainder of Pope Francis’s term is going to be spent dealing with scandal after scandal about the same kinds of crime. He would do well to alter how history will record his tenure. It’s not all his fault since it’s been going on for at least 50 years, but he wanted the job so he should do the job.
He’s done incredibly well in many areas, but he’s defended and fudged around for too long on this. His leadership is simply damaged irreparably, as is the church.
The response of Pope Francis after the great big conference on the subject last month had protocols and guidelines, but no major moves.
Lots of penitence and promises, not a lot of big proposals. instead a list of 21 “penitence points” was handed out, which were largely procedural and not particularly challenging.
As The Guardian notes here, the Catholic Church is a sexually sick institution right now.
I don’t need to repeat the joke about which sexual predator has better music. It’s not a time for flippant jokes. It’s a time for sentencing and jail.
In New Zealand, if the Pope had been a citizen he would be in jail as well for organized crime and running a pedophile ring.
There’s no one single solution to this depth of institutional support for crime. It would need a lot of moves. If I were to really believe in Pope Francis again, he would have to make some real moves, such as:
I haven’t noticed this issue emptying out the pews in Auckland, but in many countries the Catholic cathedrals are empty or close to it.
Touring Ireland 25 years ago he would have been treated with thronging crowds. Now all he can do is rock up and beg forgiveness.
Times like this I really do need a little really dark humor against God, so please welcome Jim Jeffries’ description of God, drunk at a party: