Vatican Cringe-a-thon Sex Abuse Summit Ends
Finally the torturous sex abuse summit in Rome has drawn to a close. Torturous because it has been so incredibly cringe-worthy to see the Cardinals and Bishops Pope Francis has chosen to lead this summit trot out errors, buzzwords and meaningless platitudes on a world stage. And no one is buying what they are selling.
Key moments of cringe for me were Archbishop Scicluna, who has already shown himself to be the Pope's useful idiot, stating the direct opposite to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
Cardinal Marx telling everyone how the Church had destroyed documents to protect abusers:At Presser for Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit #PBC2019, Sandro Magister asks why "homosexuality" was missing from discourses this morning, @BishopScicluna says homosexuality, like heterosexuality, is a human condition "that does not predispose one to sin" pic.twitter.com/lmTGe5orr2— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 21, 2019
The admission that there will be no transparency or accountability, despite the constant repeating of the mantra "accountability, transparency..."At Presser for Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit #PBC2019, a journalist asks for clarification from Cardinal Marx, who earlier admitted that the Church had destroy documents to protect priests. Marx confirms that he was talking about what had happened in Germany [Thread] pic.twitter.com/T0mUmNZaOJ— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 23, 2019
The real issue regarding abuse was totally ignored by practically everyone!At Presser for Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit #PBC2019, a Chilean journalist asks @BishopScicluna will send his report to the civil authorities in Chile. +Scicluna says the report was confidential and was meant just for the Pope. pic.twitter.com/kssRLSqUEO— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 23, 2019
Although a few journalists brought it up:But the majority of sexual abuse cases in the Church involve teenagers. The distinction between the sexual abuse of a minor (17) and mere sexual "misconduct" with an adult (18) is legally enormous but morally incoherent.— Ed Condon (@canonlawyered) February 22, 2019
Then there was the unsurprising news that notorious English language media attaché of the Holy See Press Office Fr Thomas Rosica, who is consistently deeply problematic (see here, here, here, etc, etc) was exposed as having engaged in prolific 'cut and paste' plagiarism for over a decade.At Presser for Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit #PBC2019, @dianemontagna asks about what is being done about cases of sodomy in seminaries, highlighting the recent case in the Honduras pic.twitter.com/nH4bYlRHem— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 22, 2019
Ultimately there were no real surprises in terms of content, information, style or conclusion. I have to say I was surprised by the usually pro-Francis Crux reporter Ines San Martin who asked the most pertinent question of the week:
We now know that it was the Pope himself who rehabilitated McCarrick who was censured by Pope Benedict XVI, the National Catholic Reporter was rejoicing about this in 2014.At Presser for Vatican Sexual Abuse Summit #PBC2019, @inesanma asks how can we believe that this is the end of cover-ups, "when at the end of the day, Pope Francis himself covered-up for a Bishop in Argentina who had gay porn on his phone", referring to Argentine Bishop Zanchetta pic.twitter.com/RN8txTMbTi— Catholic Sat (@CatholicSat) February 24, 2019
The Pope knew about Zanchetta and promoted him.
When Pope Francis appointed Bishop Juan Barros to lead the Diocese of Osorno in 2015 he admonished those who were telling him the bishop was a problem and said to them:
“You, in all good will, tell me that there are victims, but I haven’t seen any, because they haven’t come forward,”And he doubled down on the plane home, saying:
“No one has come forward. They haven’t provided any evidence for a judgment. This is all a bit vague. It’s something that can’t be accepted.”It took Cardinal O'Malley to tell the truth about the eight page report he personally handed to the Pope about the issue.
The Pope now has an overwhelming record of personally protecting and promoting abusers too long to list here (most of it has been listed here).
And this is the thing. We've heard it all before. And Scicluna's "non-answer" says everything you need to know. Ask yourself if you think it is moral to work for someone who you know is not doing the thing you are employed to say he is doing?
So what did we all learn from the Summit? What incredible insights were we blessed with as a result of so much word salad? Incredibly, Archbishop Scicluna says that one of the event's main outcomes is the startling discovery that cover-up is as bad as abuse. Really? This is new is it? We didn't know that before now??
Michael Matt sums the whole thing up well in this video:At summit wrap-up briefing, +Scicluna says one of event’s main outcomes is a “very clear point in church policy” that “cover-up” is “equally egregious to abuse”: pic.twitter.com/RPW9X8gLDO— Rocco Palmo (@roccopalmo) February 24, 2019