Thursday, April 12, 2018


I think it is an incense smoke screen to blame those who prefer the rigidity of the EF Mass, clear moral directives and the majesty of the Church rather than those who have actually destroyed all of that in 50 short years and a revival of this destruction in the last five years.

Will all of this help a misguided pope who blames bad information rather than his own invectives to change course and recover the majesty that is the Glorified Risen Lord's Church?

From Whispers in the Loggia:

Amid Abuse Probe's Hearing of "Many Crucified Lives," Pope Summons Chile to Rome

In but the latest striking turn of a home-turf debacle which has colored the broad perception of his pontificate, in a letter released tonight on two continents, the Pope told the Chilean bishops that "I have committed grave errors of judgment and perception" in a long-simmering abuse scandal which has rocked the country's church, specifically citing his lack "of true and balanced information" on it.

Released on roughly an hour's warning, the six-page typed missive – dated Sunday – was made public at Francis' insistence at 8pm Rome time in an unusual joint issue by both the Chilean episcopal conference and the Holy See Press Office.

In his message, addressing the 2,300-page dossier compiled last month by Archbishop Charles Scicluna of Malta – the Vatican's onetime lead prosecutor of abuse cases – the pontiff aimed to "beg for the forgiveness of all who I have offended," ostensibly in light of his prior, repeated defenses of Bishop Juan Barros, a protege of the country's most infamous predator priest, Fr Fernando Karadima.

In numerous earlier instances, Francis sought to base the opposition to Barros – whose 2015 appointment to a diocese sparked ongoing protests – on "calumny" and "Leftists who orchestrated all this." By contrast, the Pope's letter said that his reading of the interviews taken by Scicluna and a priest currently on staff at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith "bring me pain and shame."

Even as the duo form the centerpiece of the entire fiasco, neither Barros nor Karadima – the latter restricted to a life of prayer and penance, but not dismissed from the clerical state – were cited by name in the letter.

Beyond issuing an extraordinary summons of all the Chilean bishops to the Vatican to discuss the situation – which the body's president subsequently said would take place over the third week of May – the Pope said he would likewise meet with at least some of the 64 victims interviewed "over the coming weeks," in the hope of expressing his apology personally.

Notably, Francis' letter made an explicit point of "thanking the various organizations and the means of communication for their professionality in treating this very delicate case, respecting the right of citizens to be informed and the good name of those who spoke out." That line was a starkly direct hit at the criticism voiced by Santiago's retired Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz Ossa, 84 – a hand-picked member of the pontiff's "Gang of Nine" lead advisers – who blamed "profit" motives by Karadima's victims, Barros' own interviews and general media coverage of the abuse eruption for a "parallel focus" of bad optics that trailed the Pope over his January visit to the country.

Yet in another sign that Francis' Latin impatience had hit a boiling point – just with a fresh target – this week's letter rapped the Chilean bench in these memorable words: "Sometimes, when evils rumple our souls and throw us into the world, scared and buttoned-up inside our comfortable 'winter palaces,' the love of God goes into our encounter and makes our intentions pure, that we might love as free, mature and [self]critical men."

Albeit discreetly, today's move garnered a thumbs-up from the camps of both Scicluna and another of "Gang" member, Boston's Cardinal Se├ín O'Malley OFM Cap., who arguably extended the scandal's visibility and range by publicly criticizing Francis after Papa Bergoglio's in-flight blast at victim-survivors seeking Barros' removal during the January trek.

Even if the letter made no clear determination on Barros' fate, the writing there is essentially on the proverbial wall. Well more, though, the message released today puts the fate of two even more critical figures in the balance: Errazuriz, for reasons stated above, not to mention being considerably past Conclave age yet still in Francis' official "inner circle"...

...and above all, the prelate long described as the last Vatican "Sacred Cow" which Francis hasn't dared touch – Cardinal Angelo Sodano: at age 90 still Dean of the College, who as Nuncio to Chile (1977-90) was said to be closely allied with Karadima, then as John Paul II's all-powerful Secretary of State worked to squelch the CDF's probe into the founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Fr Marcial Maciel, who Benedict XVI could only banish from ministry after his election as Pope and a long Curial war, going on to place the entire community under Apostolic Visitation.

Here, something else bears recalling: while the wider world/press corps was focused on a tribunal's conviction of the then-Pope's butler in late 2012 amid the soap-opera known as "Vatileaks," Papa Ratzinger used the multiple distractions of that Saturday morning in October to slip then-Msgr Scicluna (above) out of Rome and back home to his native island as an auxiliary bishop.

On paper, the appointment was a considerable demotion – and, given the duo's history, a shocking one. But in a reality only to become clearer with time, that stealth nod was the clearest sign of the Resignation to come – a departing Pope's sense of his best shot to protect the aide who did the bulk of his footwork in purging at least 3,000 abusive clerics worldwide.

Maybe now, five and a half years later, you lot might finally begin to grasp why these things occurred as they did....

To say nothing of the stakes now ahead.


Carole V. said...

It takes a very big and, yes, humble, man to stand on the world stage and say "I was wrong." Pope Francis has given an example to his brother bishops and to all of us, and I am grateful for it.

TJM said...

Carole V,

When the Pope apologizes to faithful and traditional Catholics he has viciously attacked for remaining faithful, I will subscribe to what you say.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I give the Holy Father credit for correcting this. But I do hope that he draws one very good lesson from this: Dear Holy Father, it would be better if you did not pop off on every subject under the sun. This is why.

Meanwhile, I am thinking of all those who reflexively react to any slight demurral from the Holy Father's approach, saying that all is well, it's all part of his very well thought out plan, it's pastorally "risky" and well worth it...

And wondering just how they can explain why, if it's always good to have the pope say whatever, no holds barred, that he is now apologizing in so high profile a way?

If the apology is right, then the shoot-from-the-hip comment approach was wrong.

If the shoot-from-the-hip approach is right, then why apologize?

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

But the apology is popitically correct. He's sorry he was given wrong information presumably from his S. American buddies who really have nothing to teach us to paraphrase an infamous German Cardinal. He should have simply apologized for spreading gossip which was not true and having a bad case of verbal diarrhea.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

"He's sorry he was given wrong information presumably from his S. American buddies who really have nothing to teach us to paraphrase an infamous German Cardinal."

This is not correct. He is not say he was "sorry he was sorry he had been given wrong information." This was not a faux-pology.

"I ask forgiveness of all those I have offended and I hope to be able to do it personally in the coming weeks," the pope said in the letter, which was released by the Vatican April 11. Several survivors apparently have been invited to the Vatican to meet the pope."

"Francis blamed a lack of "truthful and balanced information" for misjudging the situation concerning Bishop Juan Barros, who he appointed to the small diocese of Osorno in 2015 despite allegations that he had helped cover up abuse by his mentor, the Rev. Fernando Karadima." (

He said he was wrong. He said he caused pain. He said he was sorry for his actions. He did not blame getting bad information.

Marc said...

If Trump issued a fake apology like this, you can bet Michael would be quick to call it what it is: hypocritical blame-shifting.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

And the HF has the correct info delivered to him by Cardinal O’Mally and photographed receiving it!
Whether he had the right info or not, he should have known better to denigrate victims and he should stop saying people are guilty of anything be it calumny, rigid, punctilious, doctors of the law or whatever list of names he has used. Although slightly more refined than Ytump in this regard, the pope and Ztrump are frighteningly alike in their populist personalities.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...


TJM said...

Except Trump's policies are in the best interests of the American people as a whole, I cannot say the same about Santita's policies. I know some who post here are still drooling over Abortion King, Obama

Marc said...

Even if Francis did get bad information, part of being a leader is accepting responsibility. This is all the more true for a purported moral leader like Francis believes himself to be.

Carole V. said...

Accepting responsibilities for someone else's errors is not appropriate.

If a child throws rocks and breaks windows in a neighbor's house, it is a bad parent who says "It is my responsibility." No, it is the child's responsibility and the child should be punished. Seeing that the child is punished is the responsibility the parent bears.

Pope Francis accepted responsibility for his actions and the pain they caused. It is entirely unreasonable for him to accept responsibility for someone else's actions.

Anonymous said...

"Except Trump's policies are in the best interests of the American people as a whole..."

Trump's policy is to lie. Lying for sport is not in America's best interests.

Trump's policy is to brag about extra-marital affairs. That is not in America's best interests.

Trump's policy is to hire people who are woefully unsuited for the offices they are given.
•Michael Flynn
•Katie Walsh
•K.T. McFarland
•Michael Dubke
•Sean Spicer
•Michael Short
•Tera Dahl
•Mark Corallo
•Reince Priebus
•Anthony Scaramucci
•Derek Harvey
•George Sifakis
•Ezra Cohen-Watnick
•Carl Icahn
•Steve Bannon
•Sebastian Gorka
•Rich Higgins
•William Bradford
•Keith Schiller
•Tom Price
•Jamie Johnson
•John Feeley
•Rick Dearborn
•Jeremy Katz
•Carl Higbie
•Dina Powell
•Omarosa Manigault Newman
•Taylor Weyeneth
•Rob Porter
•David Sorensen
•Brenda Fitzgerald
•Rachel Brand
•Hope Hicks
•Josh Raffel
•Gary Cohn

That is not in America's best interests.

Trump's policy is to do whatever Trump thinks is best for Trump. That is not in America's best interests.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

You must not like Pope Francis' ethos of "whom am I to judge?" Good for you.

Anonymous said...

Liar liar cheap see through cassock on fire. Cardinal O’Malley placed a letter into Francis’ hands from the victims in Chile and O’Malley told him what was going on. He knew.

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh,

Thanks for confirminng your obesience to the Abortion/Gay marriage party, formerly the Democratic Party! Bill Clintoon sends you a cigar! Maybe he will send you instructions for “using it!”

Anonymous said...

TJM - And I guess you confirmed your obeisance to lying, to extra-marital affairs, and to choosing unqualified people for service in high government positions.


Marc said...

Continuing the rock-parent analogy: child breaks neighbor’s window with a rock. The police come, and the parent, knowing the child broke the window, tells the police that actually no windows were broken at all.

When the police show the broken window to the parent, the parents responds by claiming they didn’t know the window was broken and really it’s soemone else’s fault anyway. But “I’m sorry it happened.”

TJM said...

Anonymous Kavanaugh,

I didn't vote for Clinton or Obama, you did!

Carole V. said...

"Continuing the rock-parent analogy: child breaks neighbor’s window with a rock. The police come, and the parent, knowing the child broke the window, tells the police that actually no windows were broken at all."

The analogy doesn't apply to the Pope Francis - Chile situation. The pope didn't know the window was broken - he was given incorrect information.

A hand-delivered letter... Someone hands you a letter saying your bookkeeper is stealing from your business. Do you then believe, without further investigation, that the assertion is factual? Of course not.

Francis continued to receive information. When he realized his actions were no based in facts, he apologized.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Carole, nothing, absolutely nothing would have come of this if not for Cardinal O'Malley correcting Pope Francis.

It is heartening that Pope Francis took Cardinal O'Malley's correction to heart and then acted on it. His Holiness track record on abuse has not been exemplary on many levels. I hope he understands now that this single issue is causing the greatest damage to the Church since the Reformation--not just to the institutional Church but more importantly to teenagers abused by homosexual clergy who don't understand or live their promise of celibate chastity.

I wish Pope Francis would dialogue with other cardinals who are trying to correct him in terms of the confusion he is sowing.

Marc said...

Francis didn't actually apologize, though. He blamed the receipt of bad information. He's in charge of the people who gather information -- so it's his fault even if he received bad information.

I haven't forgotten that Francis canonized the pope who presided over the abuse of children and subsequent systematic cover-up. So that is the lens through which I view his fake apology. It's remarkable to me that everyone else seems to have forgotten that aspect of the so-called saintly pontificate of John Paul II.

Carole V. said...

"Francis didn't actually apologize, though."

Yes, he did. From the NCRegister: "In a letter released late April 11, Francis is reporting to the bishops about the mission of Maltese Archbishop Charles Scicluna, whom the pope sent to Chile in February to interview abuse victims and look into the case of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid.

"I have made serious mistakes in the assessment and my perception of the situation, especially due to a lack of truthful and balanced information," Francis says in the letter.

Revealing that Scicluna's team took 64 testimonies from sexual abuse victims during its visit, the pope says the testimonies speak together "of many crucified lives, and I confess that it causes me pain and shame."

"I apologize to all those I have offended," the pope continues, adding that he plans to apologize personally to some of the survivors who gave testimony "in the coming weeks."

Those impacted by the sad affair have accepted the spology. ALso from the NCRegister: "Victims of clerical sexual abuse and others who had called for the removal of Bishop Juan Barros, accused of covering up abuse, expressed appreciation for Pope Francis' letter apologizing for his response to allegations in Chile. But they said concrete steps are necessary to improve the situation."

Or are you relying on your own tortured and idiosyncratic grasp of reality again?

Marc said...

"I'm sorry I relied on a bunch of people who I know are liars -- because I put them in their positions chiefly because of that particular trait. And mostly, I'm sorry I got caught lying about relying on those liars. See you soon so I can fake apologize to your faces." - Francis, Moral Leader

Carole V. said...

Marc said...
"I'm sorry I relied on a bunch of people who I know are liars -- because I put them in their positions chiefly because of that particular trait. And mostly, I'm sorry I got caught lying about relying on those liars. See you soon so I can fake apologize to your faces."


What's the law say about lawyers making up false "quotes?" Is it libel or slander?

Marc said...

It’s pretty clever.

John Nolan said...

'Let me put it to you. You are saying in effect: "I'm sorry I relied on a bunch of people who I know are liars etc.etc."'

This is neither libel nor slander, but a rhetorical device used by attorneys in both British and American courts.