Thursday, April 2, 2015

Continued Discussion of Revolt in Chilean Catholic Church: Pope's Refusal to Reassess Appointment of Juan Barros Endangers Reputation as Reformer

As a follow-up to the previous items I've posted (here and here) on the revolt in the Chilean Catholic church after Pope Francis chose to ignore the pleas of many Catholics that he not appoint Juan Barros  bishop of Osorno, Chile, when survivors of abuse report that Barros helped cover up the sex crimes of Father Fernando Karadima, some excerpts from recent articles worth reading:

Kristine Ward for National Survivor Advocates Coalition (NSAC): 

It is important to be clear here by making and letting this appointment of Bishop Barros stand Pope Francis is declaring that he is not going to take action against those who aided and abetted abusers. He is going to protect them. 
We have Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City- St. Joseph as a glaring example of that. 
Now, Bishop Barros. 
The problem of sexual abuse needs no other hand for its correction than Pope Francis'. 
This appointment gives the back of it to survivors.

Barbara Dorris for Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP): 

Many times, a pontiff has pledged reform but done nothing. 
This time, a pontiff has pledged reform but done just the opposite. 
Here’s a question worth asking: By every indication, Fr. Karadima's accusers have been consistent and been deemed credible by multiple sources. So if they are telling the truth about child sex abuse by Fr. Karadima, why would they lie about cover up allegations against Bishop Barros? 
And a better question: Why won't Pope Francis even listen to them or insist that his aides listen to them?

Jennifer Haselberger at her Canonical Consultation blog:

[T]his is the awful truth — this is the situation in which the Church finds itself. It is simply unable to impose, as anything more than a romantic ideal, the requirement that only those with an absolutely 100 percent record of child protection can hold positions of trust in the Church. 
It should not come as a surprise to Marie Collins or others on the Pontifical Commission that this is the case. It is obvious to anyone paying attention to these issues that many of those currently in the episcopacy or other important leadership positions are far from meeting the 100% test, and that fact is extremely unlikely to change anytime in the near future. If this is unacceptable to Marie Collins, both she and other like-minded members of the Pontifical Commission may want to hand in their resignations now.

Jerry Slevin at his Christian Catholicism blog: 

The Chile Church rebellion, and the pope's continuing mishandling of it, makes clear that the pope's top priority as absolute monarch is to protect his "noble bishops" at almost any cost, even risking innocent children. For shame!! Once again, a pope foolishly refuses to admit he made a mistake in transferring this bishop, likely in part since any admission of mistakes by popes undercuts papal claims to "infallible" power, the keystone of post-1870 papal power.

Grant Gallicho at the Commonweal blog:

Some had hoped that pressure brought by members of the pope's new sexual-abuse commission—several of whom recently expressed grave reservations about the appointment—might persuade Francis to act, or Barros to resign. After all, just last month the pope said that "everything possible must be done to rid the church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused." He even seemed to chide bishops who had used the excuse of not giving scandal to avoid addressing the issue. But yesterday the Holy See released a terse, curiously worded statement responding to the growing controversy: "Prior to the recent appointment of His Excellency Msgr. Juan de la Cruz Barros Madrid as bishop of Osorno, Chile, the Congregation for Bishops carefully examined the prelate’s candidature and did not find objective reasons to preclude the appointment." If this is Rome’s last word on Barros, then Francis should know that his decision has imperiled not only the Diocese of Osorno, but also his own reputation as a reformer.

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