Church Silent on Tainted Cardinals Participation In Conclave

The last Cardinal has arrived in Rome. Soon the most important business of the Church will be in the hands of several Cardinals involved in clergy sex abuse cover ups. Apparently, we aren’t supposed to notice.

We can’t pry open the doors of the secret archives, but we can certainly understand the facts in front of us. Thousands of pages of documents, depositions, and testimonies have revealed a tainted hierarchy. Will Mahony vote for a Pope who will be tough on clergy sex abuse? Seems counterproductive to his interests.

Does Archbishop Chaput think the participation of Cardinals Mahony and Rigali in the conclave hurts the rebuilding of trust with Catholics in Philadelphia and Los Angeles? Can they be removed? And if so, by what process?

I posed these questions and Kenneth Gavin, Associate Director of Communications answered on behalf of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. “Neither the Archbishop nor the Archdiocese has any authority over the conclave so we wouldn’t be able to comment further than that.”

Archbishop Chaput doesn’t have any authority over pending bills regarding the statute of limitations on child sex abuse, but he has had comment on that subject. I would expect our local leader to comment on important issue to our Church and faith.

In his latest ad for Catholic Charities, Archbishop Chaput calls Philadelphians “determined.” Yes we are. I may not be able to change a thing, but I’m determined to speak up. Evil relies on silence. Determine the best expression of your Catholic faith.

Click here to read: “Priest abuse victims’ group blacklists 12 cardinals for pope,” by Richard Allen Greene, Laura Smith-Spark and Hada Messia, CNN, March 6, 2013

Excerpt: A group representing survivors of sexual abuse by priests named a “Dirty Dozen” list of cardinals it said would be the worst candidates for pope based on their handling of child sex abuse claims or their public comments about the cases.

11 thoughts on “Church Silent on Tainted Cardinals Participation In Conclave


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  2. I totally agree with Nichols1 and Susan. Mahoney and Rigali should have taken themselves out of the voting conclave but that is asking for morality from men who have consistently demonstrated their immorality. For all the cardinals, archbishops and bishops we know of who tolerated and allowed sexual abuse there must be those we do not know of who are still hiding behind their red clothes. Goes to show that nothing will change in Rome and the Church.

  3. When do the passengers in the pews leave a sinking ship? Apparently the rats intend to go down with it


  4. Well written Susan! I try to emulate your efforts to speak up, especially to church leadership. You are so right that “evil relies on silence”. It is unbelievable arrogance that Card. Mahoney recently said his years of cover up was what everyone did, just like the leadership in the Boy Scouts. The Scouts are not responsible for my immortal soul.

  5. Spot on, Susan!! Thank you so much for writing this – and also all your other posts. I recently discovered your blog (through the “Bilgrimage” blog) and am relieved to find your honest writings.

    What I wonder is, how long will these so-called Church “authorities” continue to play act & expect the world to follow? (Since I now know the truth which has been revealed despite their long-standing record of cover-ups, I refuse to acknowledge them as MY authorities any longer). We know the truth – at least part of it – thanks to the brave people like my own Boston Globe, SNAP, Bishop Accountability, but most of all, because of every brave, scarred victim.

    Thank you.

    For each one, I will no longer remain silent. I wasn’t a victim – except that I endangered my own children, unknowingly, and previously lived a life that was immersed in their lies. Emerging from that life that was based on lies has been a long, difficult journey that isn’t over for me. As a life-long Catholic (Roman), I still am not sure about where to worship – but I do know that I want – no, I NEED to know the truth that has been hidden for so long.

    I am sad, furious, depressed, infuriated beyond words – not always at the same time… Bernard Law deceived us, we here in the Boston area believed his disguise of kindness, and we were betrayed. He lives in luxury in the Vatican. He, and all the rest, should have never voted for the last Pope, should have no part in this election.

    I used to think this was a Holy office – how can it be holy if so many electing the next Pope should be on trial for crimes of conspiracy – a felony! – for child rape?? Mahoney should be on trial RIGHT NOW. As with all the rest – and how much more do we not know???

    Please – keep writing – I know it is not easy. But we need people who will fight, so bravely, like you.

  6. No comment on the conclave from Archbishop Chaput? What is this?


    Today, in what may well prove to be the last interview allowed prior to the election of a new pope, the Roman newspaper Il Messaggero has published a dialogue with Charles Joseph Chaput, the archbishop of Philadelphia (and not an electoral member of the conclave). “The next pope,” stated the archbishop, “will be called upon to clean up Vatican bureaucracy from the bottom up. This is an onerous task, and one that will require energies that Benedict XVI no longer possessed.”

    1. ‘….the Roman newspaper Il Messaggero has published a dialogue with Charles Joseph Chaput, the archbishop of Philadelphia (and not an electoral member of the conclave). “The next pope,” stated the archbishop, “will be called upon to clean up Vatican bureaucracy from the bottom up. This is an onerous task….’

      As a life-long Philadelphia Catholic awaiting the publication of possibly a 3rd Grand Jury Report, I would like to know who is going to clean up the Philadelphia Archdiocesan bureaucracy from the bottom up?

      With at least two priest criminal trials re sexual abuse upcoming in the next year and a dozen or so civil trials pending against the archdiocese for the same reason, we sure do need some housecleaning here in the City of Brotherly Love.

  7. I don’t think that anything Chaput has to say to the College of Cardinals, or to any one of its members, or about any one of its members, holds any weight whatsoever at this point. Indeed, Chaput is a lame duck, waiting to learn whether he, himself, is kaput… kaput depending on the leanings of the next pope and whether Chaput fits into them.

    All of a sudden limbo is real again and most of the bishops in the world are in it. If you are a bishop appointed during the JPII or Benedict reigns, what got you appointed is now part of the crisis in the Church. The next pope can either save the bishops or save the Church. If he saves the Church, he’ll have to re-indoctrinate the bishops.

    Of course, if Chaput had any character, regardless of his circumstances, and regardless of his future and the future of the Church, he’d speak his conscience and the conscience of the people he represents.

    Don’t hold your breath. The best thing Chaput can do for himself, right now, is not speak against his “brothers,” Mahony and Rigali. Naturally, he’ll do what’s best for him. (A real Jesus figure for sure!)

  8. On the NCR site, Fr. Thomas Reese discusses four reasons why there are no frontrunners in the papal election. My favorite reason is that the vast majority of princes were appointed by JPII and Benedict. Reese argues that their main criterion for electing princes was loyalty. (I would also argue that the main criterion for electing bishops during their papacies was loyalty as well.) Indeed, loyalty was so fundamental to choosing princes (and bishops) that talent fell by the wayside. Reese argues that the College of Cardinals consists of a bunch of “B” students with a smattering of loyal intellectuals. Unfortunately, what we need in a pope, today, is hardly an intellectual and certainly not a princely intellectual who permits loyalty to altogether determine his thinking and arrest his critical thinking and conscience. Several recent articles have said we need “Jesus with an MBA”… a pastoral person with the skills to run an organization. Oops. No prince has the experience, skills, or education to run the largest organization in the world??? Hmm. Seems like an oversight. Why the lack of talent? Because the organization boils down to a medieval cult consisting of a handful of tyrants who are assisted by a bunch of “B” student loyalists. Not a single prince is prepared to bring the medieval cult organization into the 21st century. Nor is there a prince who even remotely could be considered pastoral in the manner of Jesus. Since when would Jesus have been a loyalist to the corrupt papacies of JPII and Benedict? In being loyal to them, we can be certain that the princes had knowledge of and/or participated in their crimes and sins.

    Does anyone get how deleterious to our Catholic existence clerical loyalty has been and may continue to be?

  9. I remember the day I learned that when priests wrestle with children it should send up a “red flag.”

    Today, I read: “The process of selecting a new Catholic pope has been called one of the most mysterious elections in the world.” (Huffington Post)

    Catholics and the world will be subjected to the mystery, the smoke, the secrecy, the traditions, the history, the red, the men, the intrigue…

    All of it should send up a “red flag.”

  10. If you haven’t noticed, CBS Face The Nation, Fox’s O’Reilly and Fox and Friends all have made mention in some way to the Papal Conclave.

    On FTN Sunday, Bob Scheifer had Sally Quinn, Peggy Noonan, Carl Berstein et al in a panel discussion about … well, what turned out to be a discussion about Catholicism, not only the conclave: Some more memorable parts were when Bob S. seemed like he was “outing” Peggy Noonan when he turned to her and asked- “You’re Catholic right?” Peggy looked rather apologetic when she answered in the positive. Across the table sat Sally Quinn who set a decidedly pointed tone remarking on the abuse scandal and that B16 most likely retired because he couldn’t face up to the overwhelming problems in the Church.
    Homosexual priests came up for discussion as well as whether the Church was “relevant” today. When Berstein averred that he has priest friends who admit their fellow priests are homosexual, the table erupted into somewhat of a “free for all” and Bob S. cut to a commercial break.

    I was surprised that O’Reilly broached the subject, since I have never heard him discuss the CSA before, and I know he is Catholic. He discussed the scandals with Lanny Davis who has written a book that somehow touches on the subject. Their discussion also touched on whether the Church can reestablish credibility/relevance or not.

    Fox and Friends started their program this a.m. with jokes about Catholic confession.
    The dark haired guy on the right screen averred that he hadn’t been to “confession” since 1972 and he seemed to think it was quite a humorous touch. Only the female in the middle was not Catholic. (she quipped- “I wish I was Catholic”) I didn’t get what Doocy said– he is also Catholic.

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