Thursday, August 30, 2018

Abuse Survivors Speak Out: Viganò Is "Just a Fanatic Who Blames Gays" — More on What Viganò's Attack Is Really About

SNAP, Survivors Denounce Archbishop Viganò’s Statements Conflating Homosexuality and Sexual Violence by Clergy

SNAP's position on what Viganò and his cabal are doing creates more than a tiny wrinkle for that cabal, doesn't it? Supposedly, they're all about addressing the sexual crimes of clergy and of the hierarchy, to assist survivors. Their proposed purge of gay priests and members of the hierarchy is premised wholly on the claim that they want to deal with the abuse horror show.

But as the SNAP media statement indicates, survivors are not buying this claim — nor are they buying the ugly homophobia that is really the driving force of what Viganò and his cabal are doing. If you have any doubts left that it's not about homophobia and that it actually is about concern for abuse survivors, have a gander at Rod Dreher's Twitter feed and the furious, filthy reaction of Viganò supporters to SNAP's statement captured there.

Here's another world-prominent survivor, Juan Carlos Cruz, weighing in:

And here's more valuable commentary for you from the last day or so:

Massimo Faggioli as cited by Isaac Chotiner, "The Culture War That Is Tearing the Catholic Church Apart": 

I think Viganò represents the part of the right wing of the church that sees the LGBT issue as the defining issue of this millennium, or this century, and this pontificate. They think that anything can and should be done to stop Pope Francis from ushering in a more welcoming church for LGBT people. So in this there is a convergence between Viganò, who has always been obsessed with the gay lobby and gay conspiracy, and the American Catholic right.

Viganò was motivated by much more than the McCarrick case, [conservative Italian journalist Aldo Maria] Valli said. 
"McCarrick was more like the trigger. [Viganò] had a wider vision," he said. "What he really cared about [is that] since the end of John Paul II’s pontificate, the problem of homosexuality within the church was widely known. But it was covered up."  ... 
A top priority of Valli, Tosatti and other Italian conservative journalists, Thavis said, are "their warnings about homosexuality." The powerful Italian conservatives in the media, he said, are focused on preserving church practices in particular, especially after the liberalizing changes of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s, when the empowered left began pushing for more changes, such as allowing women to become priests. Conservatives have been particularly focused on sex and family as topics and were enraged by Francis's encouragement of dialogue and debate about whether divorced Catholics who have remarried outside the church should receive Communion. 
After decades of rule by the traditional John Paul II, Thavis said, the Vatican press corps was invested in John Paul's view of the church. He recalls a loud cheer in the press room when the cardinals in 2005 selected the like-minded Benedict as his successor. He also recalls the loud complaints in 2013 when the newly elected Francis said in his first meeting with journalists that he wouldn't offer the traditional blessing his predecessors had because there were non-Christians in the corps and he wanted to show respect. 
"It was revelatory for me to see how conservative [some of the media were] to certain church teachings and practices. I don't want to say they were more Catholic than the pope," Thavis said, but to the conservative reporters, Francis's efforts to reduce the pomp and royalty of the office were not only nontraditional but also a gimmick. 
The priorities of the rising new network of conservative Catholic media aren't limited to issues around sex and ritual. Busch not only sits on the board of EWTN and many other Catholic organizations but is also the namesake for the business school at Catholic University, a graduate school known for working to reconcile free markets and capitalism and Catholic teaching. Francis, on the other hand, is more in the socialist model of Catholicism. 
In 2011, Busch co-founded the Napa Institute, a swanky TED-Talk-like conference in Napa, Calif., for conservative Catholics, to prepare the faith "for the Next America," its site says. 
When he was in the United States, a prominent lay conservative leader said, the conservative media circles were the ones in which Viganò traveled. And sometimes oceans were crossed, such as when Tosatti would write for the influential U.S. conservative journal First Things. The U.S. and Italian conservative Catholic media are "all part of one world"” said the leader, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Viganò case is so divisive and this person didn't want to be seen as adding to that. 
The National Catholic Register, Catholic News Agency and EWTN represent the center core of conservative Catholic media, with viewed as leaning more toward advocacy than journalism and even more so. ChurchMilitant is run by Michael Voris, a journalist who "carries a message of the need for a stalwart defense … of Catholic truth," the site says. LifeSite was launched in the 1970s by a Canadian organization devoted to fighting "abortion, euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality" and other issues, its site says. 
Conservative Catholic outlets have stirred the pot before Viganò. A year ago, Catholic University's Theological College seminary canceled an appearance by the liberal Jesuit James Martin, a prominent advocate for the acceptance of LGBT people, citing "increasing negative feedback from various social media sites." The next day, the university issued a counter-statement, saying the cancellation was a decision of the seminary only — not the full university — and reflects "the same pressure being applied by the left for universities to withdraw speaker invitations," wrote President John Garvey. 
Even as some conservative Catholics are inspired by what they hope is the letter's potential to reduce Francis's sway, they are skeptical of the way in which it was shared.
"This whole episode seems like total Fake News," said the conservative lay leader. The allegations of sexual abuse coverup "have to be investigated, wherever they lead. But the way this came out, it really struck me: 'They're really out to get Francis.'"

Again, if you're in any doubt about what's driving Viganò and his cabal, check out Maggie Gallagher's response to the preceding article — yes, that Maggie Gallagher. The former head of NOM, with whose anti-gay marches Viganò has been directly associated…. 

As the papal ambassador, or nuncio, in the United States, Archbishop Viganò sided with conservative culture warriors and used his role in naming new bishops to put staunch conservatives in San Francisco, Denver and Baltimore. But he found himself iced out after the election of Pope Francis. 
Then in 2015, he personally ran afoul of Francis. His decision to invite a staunch critic of gay rights to greet the pope in Washington during a visit to the United States directly challenged Francis' inclusive message and prompted a controversy that nearly overshadowed the trip. 
Juan Carlos Cruz, an abuse survivor with whom Francis has spoken at length, said the pope recently told him Archbishop Viganò nearly sabotaged the visit by inviting the critic, Kim Davis, a Kentucky county clerk who became a conservative cause célèbre when she refused to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples. 
"I didn't know who that woman was, and he snuck her in to say hello to me — and of course they made a whole publicity out of it," Pope Francis said, according to Mr. Cruz.
"And I was horrified and I fired that nuncio," Mr. Cruz recalled the pope saying. 
Now, three years later, Archbishop Viganò appears to be trying to return the favor.

Angry after the meeting with Davis, Francis removed Vigano from his position and kicked him out of his Vatican apartment, according to the Times.  
Vigano aligned with church traditionalists who have spent years attempting to stop Francis and his support for inclusiveness, the Times reported. He began working on his letter this summer and it was published Sunday. 

Look at who those bishops are, and the stands they have (not) taken on the abuse horror show and how to address it proactively — as contrasted with their consistently hateful approach to LGBTQ human beings — and you'll get further information about that this whole affair is all about.

Of course, the mainstream media has not yet grasped the key fact of Viganò's dossier, namely, that almost everyone named in it was appointed by the sainted John Paul II or Benedict XVI, including Busch's buddy Archbishop Nienstedt and the now-hated Archbishop Theodore McCarrick. I noted this last month but remind readers again: The deeper the investigation into the rise of McCarrick goes, the more likely people will ask why there was such a rush to canonize the man who appointed so many terrible bishops and who showed his concern for the victims of clergy sex abuse by never once even meeting with one of them.

Retired Pope Benedict XVI's personal secretary says that reports the ex-pontiff confirmed some of the claims in a former Vatican ambassador's statement alleging a widespread cover-up of ex-cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of seminarians are "fake news." 
"Pope Benedict has not commented on the 'memorandum' of Archbishop [Carlo] Viganò and will not do so," Archbishop Georg Gänswein told the German Die Tagespost newspaper Aug. 28…. 
The New York Times reported Aug. 28 that one of the people Viganò consulted with while writing his statement was U.S. lawyer Timothy Busch, who is on the board of governors of EWTN, which owns the Register. 
Busch told the Times that editors at the Register "had personally assured him that the former pope, Benedict XVI, had confirmed Archbishop Viganò’s account." 
In his interview Aug. 28, Gänswein said that that any reports that Benedict had confirmed parts of Viganò's statement "lack any foundation."

Another very inconvenient wrinkle in the Viganò cabal's attack on the papacy of Francis for being perceived as pastorally sensitive to LGBTQ human beings….

The pretense of these folks to be representing and speaking for survivors of clerical sexual violence is stomach-churning — when they clearly have so little interest in hearing or helping survivors at all. Survivors of course want transparency and accountability regarding every church leader. They clearly are not, as a group, willing to pay the price of targeting and attacking LGBTQ human beings to attain that goal.

And they know more about the abuse crisis than anyone else does — and their testimony should be heard.

(Please see this footnote to this posting.)

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