I have been totally consumed with completing a uni assignment for the last few days and haven’t had time to write anything. When my thoughts turned to writing earlier this afternoon, for the first time in weeks I drew an absolute blank – zip, nada, nothing. So, I sent a silent request out to the Universe for a topic.
Several hours after this request, I sat down with my computer and caught up on the news I have missed while I have been researching and writing my ethics assignment – and what do you know? – the first news item I read has provided my topic for today’s post.
Hmm… with a headline like that, how could I not read the article?
To be clear, I am not a Catholic, nor do I know the Pope personally, or in any other capacity, however, I have read many articles expounding his virtues and generally indicating that he is a pretty decent bloke. Now he has apologised for all those ‘evil’ deeds members of the Catholic ministry have enacted upon children, so that must mean he is a good man, mustn’t it?
Well, maybe not.
Yes, it is, theoretically, a good thing that he has done by apologising, however, I don’t personally feel that the apology goes quite far enough. You see, although Pope Francis has said the Church “…will not take one step backward with regards to how we will deal with this problem and the sanctions that must be imposed” he has also indicated that those sanctions only relate to the priests who abused children. He has made no mention of what will be done about the many, many more within the Church who protected those men and worked hard to discredit and discount the victims.
It is all well and good to impose ‘sanctions’ on the perpetrators, even though the form those ‘sanctions’ will take has not been elaborated, but while there are people within the Church willing to aid and abet “…the evil which some priests…” have done, then it’s a hollow apology.
Take Australia’s own Cardinal George Pell. He is now Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy – a bloody good reward for his diligent efforts to cover up child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Australia, don’t you think?
Although there will be an endless number of people ‘out there’ who will be thinking something along the lines of, “Wow, wasn’t that a wonderful thing Pope Francis did, apologising to all those abused children? They should all be feeling much better now that it’s all in the past, forgiven and forgotten” (believe me, there are people who really think like this), I find it hard to believe or accept such an apology when the people in his inner circle, those hand-picked by the Pope himself, have spent so much time and energy fighting to silence victims over the last few decades.
I can only hope and pray Pope Francis will ‘see the light’ and also ensure he weeds out all pro-child abuse supporters from ALL levels of the Catholic Church.