Activists for survivors of clerical sexual abuse have reacted furiously after Pope Francis failed to promise a “zero tolerance” approach to paedophile priests and the bishops who cover up their crimes as he closed a landmark summit at the Vatican.
Francis vowed that the Roman Catholic church would “spare no effort” to bring abusers to justice and would not cover up or underestimate abuse, but a significant part of the pontiff’s closing speech focused on the prevalence of child abuse across society.
It is a matter of public record that U.S. bishops have knowingly transferred thousands of abusive priests into unsuspecting parishes and dioceses, placing fear of “scandal” ahead of the welfare of children. The bishops themselves have apologized for what they call their “mistake,” but they say nothing about the crucial actions that constitute accountability.
For true “bishop accountability” to occur, two things must happen: 1) there must be a full “account” of the bishops’ responsibility for the sexual abuse crisis, both individually and collectively, and 2) bishops who have caused the abuse of children and vulnerable adults must be “held accountable.”
No doubt there will be many expressions of regret and other fine words in Rome (Pope calls for prayers as bishops head to Rome for ‘urgent’ sexual abuse summit, 18 February). The reality might be better judged closer to home by the response of the Vatican’s apostolic nuncio in London, Archbishop Edward Adams, to the recent five-day hearing of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse into the long-running catalogue of sexual abuse at Ealing Abbey and St Benedict’s School, Ealing. In spite of numerous requests from the inquiry to the nunciate to contribute, no assistance or comment was given.
Pontiff disturbed over tide of accusations prior to Vatican summit on sexual abuse
Pope Francis has said that those who constantly criticise the Catholic church are “friends of the devil”. Speaking to pilgrims from southern Italy, the pontiff said that defects of the church needed to be denounced so they could be corrected, but that those who condemned “without love” were linked to the devil.
“One cannot live a whole life accusing, accusing, accusing, the church,” he said. People who did, he said, were “the friends, cousins and relatives of the devil”.
After a Vatican women’s magazine brought forward new accusations, the pontiff was forced to acknowledge the problem within the Catholic Church
On Tuesday, February 5th, Pope Francis offered his first public comments on what the Associated Press called a “global and pervasive” scandal that has quietly plagued the Roman Catholic Church for decades — the sexual abuse of nuns by bishops and priests. Last year, the Vatican refused to comment on an AP investigation which found allegations by religious sisters against Church clergy in Europe, Africa, South America and Asia were met with inaction by local Church leaders and the Vatican. However, according to the Washington Post, an article published last week by the Vatican’s women’s magazine, Women Church World, denounced the abuse as a “condition of the oppression of women,” who hold second-class status within Church hierarchy, saying nothing will change so long as the Vatican “continues to close its eyes.”
“It is true … there have been priests and even bishops who have done this,” Pope Francis said, according to Reuters, when asked about the article. “I think it is still going on because something does not stop just because you have become aware of it. … I can’t say ‘this does not happen in my house.’ It is true. Do we have to do more? Yes. Are we willing? Yes.”
Once caught on the shhook or in the net, if things go according to its will, the Vatican Church never lets anyone out of its clutches. It’s not for nothing that the just cited canon from the “Codex Juris Canonici” talks about the indelible character that the candidate for baptism receives.
How we can imagine this indelible character and what effect it allegedly has is described by the Spanish Cardinal of Madrid, Antonio Maria Rouco, according to a report by the Catholic News Agency: Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco said … baptism … leaves an indelible mark and the person who receives it will always be Catholic. … it is a part of one’s DNA. (www.catholicnewsagency.com, July 9, 2004))
This Vatican doctrine of a kind of Catholic genetic engineering via baptism was described in December, 2010 with nearly the same words by another bishop, Thomas Tobin from the United States. Bishop Tobin asserted:
And there’s really no such thing as a former Catholic. If you were baptized a Catholic, you‘re a Catholic for life – even if you‘ve renounced the title and joined another Church. Your baptism infused your soul with Catholic DNA – it de nes who and what you are. (www.catholic.org)
No, baptism does not “de ne” who and what we are. For God, the Eternal, also gave us a mind. Everyone decides for himself whether he is a slave of the Church or follows Jesus of Nazareth.
The Catholic Church does not provide any scienti c proof for its “genetic engineering.” However, in for- mer times, an indelible mark was the slavemark, which was burned into the skin and could no longer be removed. And just like the serf and his children were formerly lifelong slaves, unless they had been set free by their masters, guratively speaking, until today the Church lays lifelong claim to those baptized, however “for eternity.”
This lifelong usurpation by the Church, which continues beyond death, can be seen by the fact that the Church vehemently refuses to delete from the baptismal registers those who as matured adults have left the Church.
For example, in Germany, you can of cially leave the church institution. But the Church does not acknowledge this. The person’s free will is blatantly ignored, and a deletion from the baptismal registers does not take place.
This is also why the German Cardinal Karl Lehmann emphasized, that theologically and spiritually the Catholic Church knows no such thing as “leaving the Church” … Thus, the old rule de nitely applies: … once a Catholic, always a Catholic. (Radio Vatican March 19, 2011, German edition)
So instead of freedom in the Spirit of God it is: “Divide, bind and rule.”
Thus, this church doctrine is also in stark contrast to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations. There, it literally says in article 18:
Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief … (www.un.org/en)
With their statements of nonterminating, eternally binding baptism, the churches reveal that they are totally indifferent to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations and the right to freedom that is anchored in many democraticconstitutions. They want to establish the person’s bondage and his dependency on the Church for life – that is, from the cradle to the grave and even beyond death.
And what this bondage brings with it is clearly expressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. There it says:
Having become a member of the Church, the person baptized belongs no longer to himself, but to him who died and rose for us. From now on, he is called to be subject to others, to serve them in the communion of the Church, and to obey and submit to the Church’s leaders, holding them in respect and affection … (No. 1269)
Where did Jesus of Nazareth teach that a person should obey the Church’s leaders and submit to them?
Jesus of Nazareth did not talk about submission – on the contrary, Jesus Himself did not submit to the “leaders” of the religious authorities at that time; nor did He teach his fellowman to do this. Jesus was a man of freedom who did not bind anyone to Himself; nor did He call upon anyone to let himself be bound, patronized, coopted, subjugated or in- doctrinated.
The Vatican Church does the exact opposite of this. The following is laid down in one of its dogmas, de ned as infallible:
If anyone shall say that in the Roman Church, which is the mother and mistress [that is, teacher] of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism – anathema sit. (Neuner/ Roos, No. 442)
Jesus of Nazareth taught neither that the Church is the mother, nor that the pope is the father, for there is only one Father, the heavenly Father, who is also the Father-Mother-God.
Jesus of Nazareth clearly taught: I am the way and the truth and the life. (John 14:6) He did not speak of an institution that is the mother and mistress of all churches.
Passage from the Book: Rehabilitation of the Christ of God
Nicht nur religiöse Minderheiten werden vielerorts unterdrückt, sondern zunehmend auch Atheisten und Freidenker. Das konstatiert der gerade veröffentlichte Bericht des internationalen Humanistenverbandes IHEU ( http://www.iheu.org). In 43 Ländern drohten Religionskritikern Haftstrafen, so der Report; 22 Nationen bestrafen den Abfall vom Glauben; 12 davon sogar mit dem Tod. Glaubensfreiheit bedeute eben nicht nur die Freiheit zu glauben, was man will, sondern auch die Freiheit vom Glauben, das schreibt Ahmed Shaheed, der Sonderberichterstatter der Vereinten Nationen, im Vorwort: “Dieses Recht kann eine Frage von Leben und Tod sein.” Der Bericht kritisiert auch Deutschland wegen des umstrittenen Blasphemieparagrafen (§166 StGB).