Pope Francis Says Three Bishops Under Investigation


Click here to read: “Pope Francis to meet with sexual abuse victims,” by CNN staff, May 26, 2014

Excerpt: Pope Francis spoke out against sexual abuse by Catholic clergy on Monday and said he plans to meet with victims in early June.

Stressing that such abuse constitutes a horrific crime, he told reporters aboard the papal plane that three bishops are under investigation.

It was not clear whether the bishops are under investigation for alleged abuse, or for purported involvement in some sort of cover-up.

A priest who abuses a child betrays the body of the Lord, the Pope said, according to pool reports. He called for zero tolerance.”

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39 Responses to “Pope Francis Says Three Bishops Under Investigation”

  1. Let’s see if he goes over his tracks from his “other life”, before his new name which guaranteed him a clean slate……and all those children unaccounted for…….

  2. Katherine FitzGerald Reply May 27, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Why does Francis need O’Malley to orchestrate his every response to the sexual abuse crisis? Is he that removed from it, uninformed, clueless, or insecure in terms of responding to it according to his own mind, authority, and conscience? Why does Francis need a go-to man to figure it out? (Or a commission for that matter.) I think it’s because he does not want to be the first pope to personally and on his own fruition take down his clerical brothers. He’d rather go down in history following the recommendations of someone else rather than being The One. It goes to show you how gut wrenching it is for clerics to confront each other’s sins and crimes. O’Malley is only following orders like a loyal tool chosen to be The Figure-It-Out One.

    Maybe O’Malley will get the job done for Francis. But I will always wonder why Francis did not get the job done himself.

    • Kate,

      “I think it’s because he does not want to be the first pope to personally and on his own fruition take down his clerical brothers.” That’s for sure Kate!

      One of the first rules one learns in seminary is NEVER “rat” on a Bro priest. Just like in prison, a violation of that rule will result in extreme consequences.

      The pope is human and would suffer from the psychological torture he would endure like anyone else. However, if he were the first pope to take down one of his clerical brothers, then we would have the “right stuff” that could one day produce a validly canonized pope.

      • drwho13,
        I can tell you speak from experience. Whether in the priesthood or in a family etc breaking the code of silence is very difficult…….I never thought of it as “psychological torture” but then I totally understand that term as in confronting a predator I will never be the same. One needs incredible courage to go against the crowd so to speak and it can be very lonely and painful……..but it is always the right thing to do……..and sometimes it ends up causing you to lose everything……relationships. status, emotional and physical health, job security on and on…….and you are right……we need to focus on heaven and us trying to be as Godly as possible……even if that requires personally suffering………uniting our suffering with Christ brings miracles and healing many times…….why is Pope Francis so afraid of this suffering of Christ that is the foundation of our church in so many ways…….without Christ’s suffering and death there would be no victory and triumph over evil…….Pope Franics show us by your example that you believe suffering leads to salvation when united with the suffering of Christ………..

        • Only 3 bishops?

          • I was thinking the same thing. They only tell us who we already know not who they know……reminds me of how predators act they only confess to the crimes you already know not all the ones they committed………

  3. “A priest who abuses a child betrays the body of the Lord, the Pope said, according to pool reports. He called for zero tolerance.” Any words here for the abused children, Pope Francis? I believe that they are of upmost priority. And how are you to carry out your Zero Tolerance on the problem, when many Catholics, from hierarchy down, try to cover up abuse or insinuate that so many victims who have come forward are making it up for some reason or are “just addicts” looking for money. Way, way past time to get your Zero Tolerance policy on the road. Just do it!!! Or is another commission forming?

  4. This is for all the clergy, nuns and lay people in the church that are finding the courage to do the right thing………..you are in my prayers……….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m8WgHGOak1c and for those that have like Sister Maureen and DrWho13 thankyou……….

    • Even though O’Malley is doing something please note that he has NOT included in the Boston list of perps any priests that may have served in parishes and schools that were also members of religious orders. That includes “visiting priests” that served as parish priests when their orders didn’t want them due to their ” problems”. If someone was violated by one of these monsters they have to still do a lot of searching to find out if anyone else has come forth or may assume they are the only victim.
      It’s interesting to note just how many come up when you compare the Boston list to bishop accountability

  5. Katherine FitzGerald Reply May 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Presumably, Finn’s days are numbered. O’Malley (on behalf of Francis) knows that he can’t squirrel around it. No ifs, ands, or buts. The hold up, however, is Finn’s consequence. A consequence that does not put to rest the Finn story, once and for all, will call into question O’Malley, his commission, the Vatican, and Francis himself. Once again, history will have repeated itself.

    In your opinion, what consequence will put the Finn story to rest?

    • He could be sent to St. Benedict’s Monastery Aspen/Snowmass, CO for life; (prayer and penance) – see photos. Of course he will have weekend passes to ski Aspen.

      http://www.stbenedictsretreat.com/photos—retreat-house-at-st-benedict-s/photos

      .

      • I was at St. Benedict’s Monastery for three months, as an observer in 1983. Shortly there after 1983 the Abbot got some young girl
        pregnant, eighteen, and he married her. Thomas Merton, from the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, also had a personal relationship with a nurse from the hospital. Merton had his good qualities as he appeared to express intuition clearly in his writing. I read some place, when Thomas Merton lived in the hermitage, at night he made arrangements for transportation so he could hit the bars. My impression of Merton is he was alcoholic and the monastery was used by him to escape a crushing negative self-consciousness.

        When I look back of trying to enter the Trappist Monastery, combined with these people’s faults, I now can see my expectations were/are too high. I expected the church community to be “witness to the truth.” Yet they appear to endure whatever is happening and get through problems by tuning them out. It feels like the church believes nothing can be done to change things and whatever problem does not seem to matter. It also seems the Catholic Church has all the answers and no one can tell them anything. The church is now has this irritating habit of making pronouncements and explaining things as if others were children who would do nothing right without their guidance. The church appears to see everything and everyone in the light of absolutes, right or wrong, good and evil, saved and damned. In fact, the church is now completely intolerant of the beliefs of others who disagree with them and are now considered as immoral and evil.

        I realize my judgment of the church is mixed in with my expectations. My expectations are mixed in with the weight of moral “shoulds” and “oughts.” My expectations feel it is up to the church to right wrongs, educate and instruct others in proper ways to live without being its own “ego” saint. My expectations are like a moral yardstick and I expect improvement in the church. I expect the church to sort out clearly moral issues and see the consequences of whatever decisions they make. Yet because the church as an institution it has no conscious, has no notion of right and wrong, and the consequences of acting rightly or wrongly. The body of Christ, as an institution, has no soul. There can be no conscious to form religious principles of right and wrong. And yet my expectations expect better than passive resistance and the church creating a stone wall. Truth cannot be known by church because it has no soul to create a conscious.

        What creates an institution that has a conscious if it has no soul, especially in church? I realize my expectations are in the way of not making good judgments. So where are the rightness of my expectations and the responsibility of the Divine creating a conscious in the Catholic Church? I can only tell I am caught in my expectations and I have this smoldering resentment. My resentful attitude toward the Catholic Church is directly related to my resistance. My resistance is my expectations and this chronic dissatisfaction with the Catholic Church. I am caught in what ought to be.

        It seems my expectations need to fall into non-attachment, so I can let everything arise and disappear and without being caught in my smoldering resentment.

        • Syd, that was very well said. I too entered religious life with the same expectations, and “…can see my expectations were/are too high. I expected the church community to be “witness to the truth.”” I wonder what percentage of Catholics look to the bishops for moral direction. I believe they are irrelevant to most members.

          As for Merton, I once read somewhere that he’d love living in a hermitage as long as it was on 5th Avenue.

        • Katherine FitzGerald Reply May 30, 2014 at 2:52 am

          Thank you, Syd. And thank you, drwho.

          The way I deal with my chronic and smoldering resentment, for the most part caused by the relentless spin and hypocrisy, are through advocacy and education. Both can lead the Church to become what it ought to be. Certainly there is nothing within its hollow soul that can accomplish the task.

        • Syd well said……….

  6. I’m with you Syd, drwho and Katherine!

  7. I believe it is a forgone conclusion that when the vatican/pope/hierarchy/rcc does it’s own investigation what the results will be.

    Syd, your comment is right on !

  8. Syd, Drwho, and of course my wise friend, Kate all beautifully said and so honest. This institution has no soul! In full agreement with Syd. Our greatest trouble and our saving grace is that we have a soul. Time may seem like a great flood dragging with it all the debris of the past and catching you at last running through your own fields. Where there was once a great fire may seem only an ember now in the palm of your hand. But that ember is the soul and nothing on earth can rescind it!

    • Katherine FitzGerald Reply May 31, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      Vicky, what are your thoughts on Francis’s impending meeting with survivors in June? Were you to be invited, would you go? Why or why not? How do you think survivors should view Francis’s impending invitation to meet with them?

  9. I can’t remember reading an article before where so many priests actually said something to the press. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/261320141.html

    • “You put your life into the church, and then it’s like a slap in the face from the archdiocese, ‘said DiGuiseppe, the Borough Council president, adding that as a contractor, he had helped refurbish the parish’s building at no cost.'”

      “They throw you aside like you don’t have a decision in this, ‘he said. Their main concern is finances. It’s all about money anymore.'”

      GE, IBM, RCC Inc., sorry folks; when you forget that your dealing with a major corporation, not the family run country store, you’re going to get burned.

  10. When they closed my family’s parish in New England they changed the locks on the doors the night before. One lady was upset as her family’s soup ladle was in the kitchen of the hall. Overnight they pulled the plug on the place like a store owner folding up and skipping town on his creditors.

  11. Kate, I will answer your questions. No, I would not meet with this pope or any pope. Francis has a huge disconnect from what he says and what he does. I believe that after more than a year Francis is meeting with survivors because #1, PR, #2, he is being criticitzed for saying so little about this horrific scandal. It is puzzling to me that Francis appears to still believe he can try to curtail this child sexual abuse scandal by attempting to bring prosecutions in house. If anything, such efforts are likely to fuel suspicions of many that the Vatican’s long standing cover-up is, continuing. I view Francis as a pope who was elected by his Cardinals to protect his Cardinals. His particular election was well thought out. Eric Hoffer wrote”To know a man’s religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance”. Francis tolerates, protects and excuses the continued rape of children, past and present.

    On a different note. Jay Carney, chief of staff for President Obama has suddenly left. His brother is a Catholic priest with some involvement of the sexual abuse. What exactly, I not sure. I do know his brother has not abused any children, but has some importance concerning the topic.The Catholic Church does not like President Obama and his “radical beliefs” such as abortion etc. They pour a lot of money into the conservative party. I think President Obama might follow Australia’s move and begin an inquiry into the thousands of children in this country alone who have been tortured and raped by catholic priests. My thoughts only.

    • Katherine FitzGerald Reply June 3, 2014 at 12:19 am

      Vicky, thank you for your insights.

      Marie Collins is the Irish survivor-member on the sexual abuse commission headed by O’Malley. For years, she has advocated for clerics meeting with survivors. She considers these meetings integral to healing and forgiveness. Her input on the commission, as the only survivor at this time, presumably has great weight in terms of the commission and the Vatican/Francis learning what survivors need and want and in dealing with the sexual abuse crisis in general. In my opinion, the voice of one survivor on the commission is not enough. I don’t see how one survivor-voice could represent the diversity of survivor voices. Indeed, I believe the one survivor-voice represents what the Church wants to hear and is willing to work with. Hand picked.

      • Kate: I understand her reason for thinking that survivors might benefit meeting with clerics, after dealing with clerics, bishops and cardinals personally, I do not agree. I have delt with them for over 21 years, long before the “scandal” broke loose. I would caution any survivor to be extremely careful if they choose to speak to a priest I would even go as far as to advise them not to see any priest. They do not possess the care or the wherewithal to except the horrific ramifications of being raped by a catholic priest. They will never “want” to understand or extend any kind of sincere compassion towards us, their victims. Their agenda is to protect the Church “at any cost”. We, their victims, everyday of every hour pay dearly that “cost”. In so doing, they have made us out to be the enemy, disrupting the apple cart so to speak because we dared to speak out and not continue to suffer in silence. Still, there are those of us who continue to agonize in silence. I did this for many years my shame kept me tied to the darkness within. I decided one day that I would gather all my strength and step up to the plate, I pronounced to myself and the world ” I refuse to live in my silence” . I will put the toxic shame squarely where it belonged, on the priest who raped my very soul in the name of God! We then as survivors must make a choice. Do we hand our power over to evil and allow the darkness to consume us or do we stand strong against this powerful Church and begin the healing of our soul, in so doing, taking back our power and our God. No priest, bishop or cardinal can do this for us, we cannot look outside ourselves for redemption, only we possess that gift, to ourselves. My journey on this path has been the most difficult, painstaking, horrific walk towards wholeness, but by God, I am worth it!! I am doing it, me, I am becoming what God intended me to be, a whole, complete, loving person who chose to stand tall and look right into the eyes of evil and call it what it is. Our answers lie inside of us, trust it! We, dear survivors, are so worth it!

        • Vicky,
          I couldn’t agree more!

          • Wonderfully stated Vicky! My feelings exactly

          • Survivor's wife June 3, 2014 at 2:35 pm

            Vicky,
            And might I add from our experience…

            You said, “They do not possess the care or the wherewithal to except the horrific ramifications of being raped by a catholic priest. They will never “want” to understand or extend any kind of sincere compassion towards us, their victim.”

            I have encountered a couple of priests who offered compassion…and it felt very healing until….

            The rubber met the road. Is it true compassion then or is it just pity? For us it was confirmation of what you said, “Their agenda is to protect the Church “at any cost”. So despite their ability to sympathize…they will not act, at least not in tangible, healing ways for victims.

            I would not only caution victims from speaking to priests, I would caution them not to speak to or seek healing from anyone affilitated within the RCC payroll. They wound victims again with their displays of sympathy and compassion and their failures to act. That includes chancellors, “victims’ advocates, etc.

          • Survivor’s Wife, Regarding your second blog, you are so right. Case in point, the so called Healing Mass by Chaput on March 18th. For educated men, what don’t you get about having a Mass for victims where many were raped in their Church! They couldn’t ask a survivor first, is this a good idea?if not, what would help? My God, it is just that simple.
            I love what you said about the rubber meeting the road, well stated! They really have No idea of what a survivor suffers and as long as they put their special interests before (their victims) nothing will change, this was my intent to reaching victims in my blog that the real healing must come from within. First, find a very good therapist who “gets it”. When you have done that (it may take awhile to find a good one) then prepare to do the work. I concentrated on my shame! I held the shame inside, blamed myself, I must have done something wrong, or, i asked for it in some. One of my greatest achievements was when I realized it was NEVER my fault, I was a child! I put the shame where it belonged. What a sense of freedom I felt, after that I tackled all the stuff related to my being raped and abused by 3 catholic priests. I want to encourage any survivor who might be reading this please never give up, we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. We got this far, now as adults we can go on and face this shame head-on. I care so very much for any survivor that is suffering, I, know your pain. People on this blog, care very much for us and are doing all they can to make it easier for us, whether it’s changing laws, offering kindness and help, having walks and runs that benefit all children who have been abused. Their are people out there who sincerely care, we are not alone, not anymore! What’s more, WE ARE BELIEVED!

          • Yes Vicky! I was violated in the sacristy. Just the word makes my stomach knot up like I was punched! Healing mass would be torture
            Suz

          • Katherine FitzGerald June 4, 2014 at 2:35 am

            Wow. Here is some great information about the upcoming meeting with clerical abuse survivors… including a comment made by Tom Doyle.

            enlightenedcatholicism-colkoch.blogspot.com

          • Katherine FitzGerald June 4, 2014 at 3:41 pm

            On Colkoch’s blog, among the things she writes are:

            1. The meeting between Francis and survivors is not “next week.” Maybe in a couple of months. At this time there are no American survivors invited and no date set.
            2. Finn is not on the list of 3 bishops being investigated by the Vatican. They are Poland’s Wesolowski, Scotland’s O’Brien, and Chile’s Molina, all of whom were “involved in clerical abuse themselves.”
            3. The sexual abuse story “won’t go away because the Vatican is terrified of its real solution and the solution is completely revamping the theology of the priesthood.”

            Finally, someone gets that reforming the priesthood (including re-articulating its theology) is utterly necessary if the sexual abuse story is to ever end, and that clerics are utterly paralyzed by the unimaginable and terrifying notion.


  12. On Friday the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese announced it was suspending mediation efforts for the sex abuse settlements, citing the ongoing investigation by the State Attorney General’s office.

    Dr. Robert Hoatson is the co-founder of the group “Road to Recovery.” He represents some of Brother Baker’s alleged victims in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan. Dr. Hoatson is calling out the diocese for pulling out negotiations that had been scheduled for weeks. Representatives from the diocese’s in Youngstown, OH and Detroit, MI had planned to meet with a mediator Friday in Philadelphia also. Now Dr. Hoatson is saying the dioceses is causing even more harm to the victims”

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2014/03_04/2014_04_29_Jim_PA_Victims'_Victims‘.htm


    The board of directors of Bishop McCort Catholic High School is going after a Greensburg attorney who is representing a handful of people who claim they were sexually abused by Brother Stephen Baker.”

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2014/01_02/2014_02_22_Mellott_MccortBoard.htm

  13. ““He was on a farm up on the mountain with this boy and he was riding a tractor and the tractor upset and he fell into a pond of water.

    “And when the policeman came along he was just simply changing his clothes, because the clothes were wet and I remember saying to the bishop you know, then why was the boy changing his clothes, you know. Uh, well, maybe he fell in the pond, too.

    “I can remember saying to the bishop, I said bishop, you can’t be serious.”

    The judge suggested bringing in the Dean Township officer, but the attorneys said he was a reluctant witness.

    “He’s out of state and he informed me yesterday that it was still something he didn’t want to come forward on and be the one to nail a priest,” said the attorney.

    If the court ordered Metzgar to appear, “He said he’d make himself lost.”

    The attorney said Metzgar had no doubt that the boy in the car was a juvenile.”

    Realize that there were some that were caught and even went to trial . Still looking for the articles from the few I know. Still don’t understand why an assignment at Camp De Sales was mentioned for one of the Wilmington 12, but Uncle Jack did not have a similar assignment listed.

    What happens to those victims /survivors cases that are lost or not deemed worthy – who helps them. What of those kids who sat on Uncle Jack’s lap as he felt up kids . What happens to those who lose out because we pass an open window with a 50 year age limit. Lynn’s lawyer argues that Avery wasn’t a pedophile, yet EWOC deals with minors – under 18, so why is the pedophile diagnosis so important. Notice how alcohol is used in the above case and Avery – maybe we need to understand the survivors don’t forget – other just wish to CYA with revising history and misdirect issues.

  14. Again – maybe some need to support your local pastor: Are the parishioners of these churches thanking the priests that spoke out protecting their children?

    http://www.bishopaccountability.org/Whistleblowers/

    Yes. some priests and sisters have spoken out and protected our children including some in Pennsylvania. Also, a bishop from Boston is in this group.

  15. “In addition to handing down the eight- to 23-month jail sentence, Barrasse placed the Rev. Paulish on probation for two years and ordered him to perform 100 hours of community service. The priest will be required to register as a sex offender for 15 years under the Adam Walsh Act.”

    http://citizensvoice.com/news/suspended-priest-sentenced-for-sexual-tryst-with-teen-1.1697555

    “Saylor also recounted police surveillance done by former Altoona police Chief Peter Starr, who developed a list of priests observed picking up young boys near 14th Street. (When contacted for this story, Starr deferred to the court record and said he had no additional comment.)

    “Saylor told of four boys who were molested in a basement in Altoona, and how the diocese warned a priest to leave the state that night and then allowed him to come back and stay in the diocese.”

    http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news13/2002_06_23_TheTribuneDemocrat_NewSex_Altoona_Priests_2.htm

    What a difference between the late 70’s and early 80’s and now. Worked with those throw away children – see them one day on the streets, next day in my classroom. Disgusting knowing how these kids were and still are being abuse in Boston, New York, Philly and elsewhere . The RCC and the justice system failed these kids. Hopefully the PA Supreme Court will rectify this situation and interpret EWOC as the law intended – to protect our kids not the guilty.

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