Delegation’s Roman Holiday Raises Questions and Brings Back No Answer

Click here to read, “Local Group Questions The Need for Delegation’s Trip to Rome,” by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio, March 31, 2014

Excerpt: “There’s a lot of questions about the cost. There’s a lot of questions about was it necessary for this? Is this a publicity stunt to distract us away from the clergy sex abuse scandal? Is this a publicity stunt to distract us away from the financial difficulties?” Matthews says even though the trip was paid by funds raised by a separate non-profit organization set up for the World Families meeting, it doesn’t fit the example Pope Francis is trying to set for the church.

“This isn’t a pope of politicians and wealthy delegates. This a pope of the people and he’s made that clear,” Matthews says she and others would love to see the pope come here. But a more austere approach for a local church still in crisis would have been better.

LETTER TO POPE From Donna Marie, C4C reader:

In light of the current delegation lobbying in Rome to convince Pope Francis to visit Philadelphia, I would like to submit my own letter to his Eminence, Il Papa.

Dear Pope Francis, The Catholic Church is in trouble. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is in real trouble. Our mayor, Governor, and Archbishop Chaput are encouraging you to visit our City of Brotherly Love at a time when love seems far removed from the church. No doubt, your presence will provide an economic windfall for my city, as a million people are expected to attend; and you are admired by so many. I liken the ongoing dismissal of the victims abused by the very men who are here to represent the teaching of Jesus to a fractured family. If I may: “Once upon a time, a respected, loved, and trusted Grandfather was left to mind his adoring grandchild. Grandpapa did the unthinkable, and sexually abused the child. When discovered by the shocked and heartbroken parents, Grandpapa made every excuse in the book to explain his abhorrent behavior. The parents were torn. After all, their family was the pillar of society. Everyone knew and respected Grandpapa. What were the parents to do? Where they to throw everything away that was good for this one, albeit heinous, indiscretion? Comforting their child, the parents explained that Grandpapa would never again be left alone with him. Grandpapa would still, of course, be a member of the family. The child would see him at all family functions. Instead, Grandpapa would now be minding the child’s cousin over at his aunt and uncle’s house. Everything will be fine, and no one else has to know. To soothe their child’s nightmares and depression, the parents suggested that he begin praying to God every day to find it in his heart to forgive Grandpapa. After all, to ere is human, and to forgive divine, right? This will always be our family secret, they told the child.” Pope Francis, please repair the damage in your “home”, the church, before you visit mine. Only then will it be a trip worth taking. Nelson Mandela once said: “Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”




13 thoughts on “Delegation’s Roman Holiday Raises Questions and Brings Back No Answer

  1. For those of you outside of the area..this trip was the most over hyped story or it was a really slow news week in Philly last week.
    The much talked about private audience was canceled at the last minute..local news crews documented the trip..interviews with of them sight seeing and on and on.

    Then a mass email from the AD asking us all to use social media to have the Pope in Philly story “trend” on the that point I felt like a 15 year old calling in to the local radio station trying to win contest the way I didn’t see any of my Catholic friends follow through on this social media request and by the end of the week an 89 year old devout Catholic told me that she could not stand hearing one more news report about this trip.

    1. Kathy, are you saying that Philly’s mayor, Chaput, and the PA governor traveled to Rome but did not meet with Francis as planned? That the anticipated papal meeting never took place???

      1. Kate there was supposed to be a private meeting and that was canceled and the delegation was received at the general news reporter mentioning that Pope Francis spent more one on one time with random crowd members than members of the delegation. I have no idea if the Pope and Chaput had a meeting.
        The entire thing was all just so strange..all this hype about
        extending an invitation…it really was over the top in the news and I am not sure if it is because of the popularity of the Pope or just lack of other news. Anyway I am glad to hear that the Pope spends more time with strangers in the crowd than with delegations..from Philly or anywhere.

        1. Kathy, what does the non-profit organization think about its wasted resources? Has it commented on the debacle? Presumably it expected more bang from its bucks. Hopefully it was a sobering experience for the mayor and governor. They still have time to figure out how much they want to invest in the World Families meeting. Gone is the day when His Excellency plays host and everyone clamors and begs to pay for it.

          1. The event is expected to generate $100 million in revenue for the city..I am sure they are all still on board.

  2. I believe that the fact that this delegation from Philadelphia did not get a private audience with Pope Francis speaks volumes. I am not sure where the Archdiocese ranks today as far as the number of Catholics but I know it used to be in the top ten or better in the United States. .One must really question how Chaput is looked upon by the Pope and the Curia. They can spin it anyway they want, but I believe it shows that Chaput is not held in high esteem.On a different matter, I happened to be looking on Bishop Accountability and read up on what Pope Francis’ record on sexual abuse when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires.I was really disappointed.His record is very similar to most of the Bishops and Archbishops in the United States. He covered for his priestly friends, moved predator priests around and did not support victims at all. I guess I got caught up with the hype. I really believed he was different.

    1. Exactly, Jim… “One must really question how Chaput is looked upon by the Pope and Curia.” It’s a classic case of an archbishop having lost his once favored status at the Vatican. Had Chaput been, say, O’Malley from Boston, the “greeting” would have gone quite differently. Think about it. Chaput has publicly asserted his dissatisfaction with the Francis papacy. Not orthodox enough was his complaint. What I find distasteful is that favoritism, apparently, is not something that Francis, himself, has overcome yet he bemoans clericalism. Favoritism is notoriously embedded in clericalism.

  3. I want to know why did Chaput flew to Roma First Class when the Philly Mayor and PA Governor flue Business Class?? Do you think he had Kobe Beef as a meal on the airplane?

  4. If you were the Pope, would you come to this archdiocese? Word has it that one of the enticements for his visit was a front row seat in one of the CJC courtrooms for an upcoming criminal trial involving clergy sexual abuse in the Philadelphia archdiocese.

  5. How is the catholic church going to reconcile the ‘families’ that were destroyed by the enablers and abusers ?

  6. Don Guannella Village and School was sold to cover this Shell Company of the World Meeting of Families 2015 Philadelphia. And you would think that Pope Francis would come when the money is coming from the displacement of the Children of Christ that are now displace?

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