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Monday, July 4, 2016

The Mercy Impostor Featured

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mercy imposter

I love them innocently, says God.
That’s the way you should love these innocents.”   ~Charles Peguy

From all corners of the universal Church, hundreds of clergy abuse survivors gathered recently at the16th Annual SNAP Conference held in Chicago describing their gut-wrenching childhoods of sexual molestation by clerics. A haunting aura dominated the conference: Pope Francis’ unwillingness to tr uly reform the Church and protect children by punishing predators and their protectors.

Is this the Pope of Mercy?


Has Francis’ self-styled theology of mercy blinded him to the need for justice for the Church’s violent betrayal of children? Has mercy replaced justice in the lexicon of papal rules necessary to protect children? Is clergy sex abuse too bothersome and unfashionable for the popular globalist media star fixated on global warming and income redistribution? Or, is he simply the mercy impostor, unwilling to address the crisis, similar to his years in Argentina?

Victim survivors at the conference describe Pope Francis as disengaged and indifferent on this issue. His stance toward the clergy sex abuse crisis is littered with frivolous half measures and empty words to address this endemic global scourge. More than one speaker described him as, “This is a Pope of Smoke and Mirrors.”
smoke mirrors

Francis’ mercy minions may be shocked, but in the opinion of abuse survivors, the Francis “peripheries” don’t include the victims of clerical sexual predators. Several speakers denounced the Pontiff’s shallowness and insincerity toward the crisis. “Francis is the Master of Change, without change,” observed one speaker. While another anointed the Pope as, “Francis, the Master of Fee l Good.”

According to those who matter, the victims, Pope Francis and his hypnotic mercy mantra cannot obviate his utter failure for meaningful systemic clergy sex abuse reform in the Catholic Church.

The sexual abuse of children reverberates for generations as a monstrous atrocity against humanity which cries out for justice, not mercy. When the perpetrators are clergy, the punishment demands temporal and eternal retribution. Jesus’ seemingly unmerciful sentence and harsh words capture the eternal justice demanded of those that soul murder children:

"If anyone causes one of these little ones--those who believe in me--to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:6

Christ’s powerful words paint a brutal image: Mercy abandons the man on the shore, as the predator is cast into the depths of the ocean weighed down by an immense millstone, ensuring death by drowning. Yet, Pope Francis responds to the clergy abuse crisis with his typical sentimentality, “God weeps.” 

Don’t cry for me Argentina works for Eva Peron. The God of the Bible rages.

A clergy sex abuse victim is forever changed. Losing innocence, faith, and childhood, strikes a terrible blow to body and soul, which never fully heals. Their pain remains palpably raw, robbed of so much, when so young. Silenced by their shame, imprisoned in their suffering, struggling to survive, these victims are the walking wounded of clergy sex abuse. Yet, despite their incalculable pain, grace often emerges, bringing clarity of vision, a restored voice, and a sharpened instinct which detects hypocrisy and sanctimony.

Listening to the excruciating accounts of clerical sex abuse and subsequent hierarchal coverups, bravely recounted at the conference, reminds me of the poignant words of the great French novelist, George Bernanos, who on his death bed recalled fidelity to the little boy he once had been:

“What does my life matter? I just want it to be faithful, to the end, to the child I used to be. Yes, what honour I have, and my bit of courage, I inherit from the little creature, so mysterious to me now.”

Despite the ruins of a stolen and destroyed childhood, the survivors at the SNAP conference swore loyalty to their wounded child with the wisdom and fury of an avenging angel. These casualties from the Church graveyard of hierarchal negligence are woefully damaged, but determined to rid the Church of its perverted priests, predatory cover up practices, and pretentious bureaucratic “fixes.”

While the world is hypnotized by Francis’ mercy mania and genteel gestures, the victims of clergy sex abuse gathered at the conference remain highly skeptical of the Pope’s commitment to root out predators among its clerical ranks.“Pope Francis, stop your empty headlines” received resounding applause from the audience of victims who hailed from the U.S. England, Germany, Mexico, Poland, Latin America and Armenia to name a few. All who spoke urged abuse victims to report abuse and call the police, not the prelates.

Abuse survivors closely watch Pope Francis for signs of authentic commitment and genuine reform. Instead, his face appears on the covers of Time and Vanity Fair, and he meets endlessly with Hollywood celebrities and world elites. It’s becoming obvious that Francis provides scant time and fleeting attention to the plight of clerical abuse of minors.

These walking wounded believe that Francis is slow walking child protection reforms and, shockingly, surrounds himself with prelates who conceal predator priests. At the Vatican, there’s no climate for child protection when global warming dominates Francis’ beloved world stage, as he effusively and strenuously advocates for eco-protection using his apostolic exhortations and vast Vatican resources. The dangers of air conditioning and carbon dioxide receive more attention than the danger of predatory priests.

During his first three years as Pontiff, Francis sacked a clergy abuse victim from his new papal child protection commission because the member dared to criticize the Vatican’s appointment of a Chilean bishop who covered up a serial predatory priest.

Apparently, the Vatican insists that acquiescence and silence are required for a seat at the papal child protection commission. Yet every victim knows, that silence is toxic and, often, deadly.

When the Chilean Supreme Court subpoenaed Vatican records of a serial priest predator, the Vatican refused to honor the subpoena. Cooperation with the judiciary and law enforcement is the hallmark of a transparent Church.

Francis prefers the Argentine way, tangoing through the scandal by ignoring and denying the existence of clergy sex abuse, much as he did during his many years as bishop and cardinal in Buenos Aires.

What would you expect from Pope Francis who did nothing for 15 years to address the clergy sex abuse scandal as bishop and cardinal in Argentina?

Bergoglio’s Abysmal Child Protection Record in Argentina

The Clergy Abuse Tracker site, Bishop Accountability reviewed archive records of Bergoglio in Argentina. Here are some of their findings about Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio:

Jorge Mario Bergoglio was archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 to 2013 and president of the Argentine bishops’ conference from 2005 to 2011. During these 15 years, as church officials in the US and Europe began addressing the catastrophe of child sexual abuse by clergy – and even as Popes John Paul II and Benedict made public statements –

   Bergoglio stayed silent about the crisis in Argentina.

   He released no documents,

   He released no names of accused priests,

   No tallies of accused priests,

   No policy for handling abuse, not even an apology to victims.

   In his many homilies and statements (archived on the Buenos Aires archdiocesan website), he attacked government corruption, wealth inequities, and human sex trafficking, but he said nothing about sexual violence by priests.”

Additionally, Bishop Accountability tracks clergy abuse cases around the world and keeps a database of predatory priests. It describes a deplorable record for Bergoglio:

“Bergoglio’s implication, that he handled no abusive priests, is implausible. Buenos Aires is Argentina’s largest diocese, and Bergoglio was one of its top executives from 1992 to 2013 – a period when tens of thousands of victims worldwide reported their abuse to the Church. {W}e estimate conservatively that from 1950 to 2013, more than 100 Buenos Aires archdiocesan priests offended against children and that dozens of them were known to archdiocesan supervisors, including Bergoglio.”

For more details about the record of inaction by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, check out Bishop Accountability conclusion about Bergoglio’s behavior and legacy as Cardinal of Argentina’s largest diocese:

“Bergoglio’s strategy for suppressing the crisis in Buenos Aires – his behind-the-scenes refusal to help victims combined with a total lack of transparency – continues to be the approach of many of Argentina’s bishops and religious superiors.”

Bergoglio leaves behind a tragic legacy in Argentina. It’s no surprise that he continues the same myopic stance as Pontiff. He hides behind the veneer of mercy while wrapping himself in the seamless poverty garment of global modernism.

Papa Francisco dominates the world political stage with his star power. His time, energy and papal good will are devoted to the causes of the glitterati and the political elite, not the suffering victims of clergy abuse.

Amidst the smoke, take a look in the mirror, Francis.

Victims don’t need a populist, they need a protector.

Children don’t need a tree hugger, they need a father.

The Catholic Church doesn’t need a Rock Star, it needs a Holy Father.

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Last modified on Monday, July 4, 2016
Elizabeth Yore

Elizabeth Yore served on the Heartland Institute Delegation that traveled to the Vatican in April 2015 to urge Pope Francis to re-examine his reliance on UN population control proponents who promote climate change.  She is an international child protection attorney who has investigated several cases of clergy sex abuse of children. She served as Special Counsel and Child Advocate to Oprah Winfrey. She is the former General Counsel of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services and former General Counsel at National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.