Pope Francis has been given the greatest opportunity that could ever be given to the leader of a “great” institution. He has been given the opportunity to root out and rid his home of the evil that has beset it. Instead, Francis has chosen to side with the forces of evil by stating that the Church has “spared no effort” in resolving the issue of clergy sexual abuse – an “effort” that I find I must question. What exactly have you done about addressing the issue of priest sexual abuse and the culture of clericalism that has allowed this evil to continue for 2000 years? As far as I can tell, the evil continues in spite of the “effort” the Church claims to have put forth (an effort that has for the most part been geared toward preventing the laity from abusing children…a laity that was rarely guilty in the first place!).
Children are still being abused. Priests are still getting away with it. Clergy remain in hiding. And the magisterium turns its face in denial of the true source of this evil – a culture of white male, ordained privilege that places priests above the people they were meant to serve. “Above” us to the point that neither Church, nor Canon, nor even moral law pertains to them.
Pope Francis has failed us. I cannot speak for other Catholics (or former Catholics), but I once had great hope for this pope. I didn’t expect doctrinal change (though it would be nice if he at least acknowledged that women were deserving of ordination and that historically there is no support for a male-only/celibate only priesthood), but I did expect that the chose leader of the world’s largest religious faith would stand on the side of truth. With his most recent statements, however, it seems he stands on the side of the hierarchy – specifically, protecting the culture of clericalism that is at the heart of all that is wrong with the Catholic Church, and I might argue, with all of Western society. I have always said, if you want to see where Western culture is going, look to the Catholic Church. Where Francis currently stands on the topic of clerical abuse seems right in line with what is happening in the area of sexual abuse in the good ole USA – the men in power standing with the men in power while the rest of the world suffers. I am ashamed.
I will say it again, Pope Francis, you have failed us. You have been given a chance to acknowledge the horrors of clergy sexual abuse, admit the wrongdoing of your brethren, ask for forgiveness, and then embark on the true work of forgiveness which is to determine the cause of the sin and ROOT IT OUT! Instead you have done nothing but offer platitudes while brushing clergy sexual abuse off as something that only happened in the past. Incidents of clergy sexual abuse are still being reported today, but the Church does nothing. Francis, with your words today, it is clear that nothing else will be done. Until the cause of the “sin” is identified and transformed, the sin shall remain. Apparently Pope Francis is ok with this or more would be done. “We have spared no effort,” are perhaps the most offensive words I have yet to hear out of the mouth of this pope.
Pope Francis you have failed us…and as a 53 year old woman, I can tell you it is not only the youth of the Church who are outraged. The whole entire world is outraged over the ongoing sexual abuse of the vulnerable by the ordained Catholic priesthood….and you should be too!
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS
Authentic Freedom Academy and Temple of the Magdalene
Please join us Wednesday evening for the inaugural of the Temple of the Magdalene online gathering: