Pope Requests Bishops’ Cooperation With Commission

Click here to read: “Pope Asks Bishops and Religious Superiors to Cooperate Fully with Commission for Protection of Minors,” by Gerard O’Connell, America, Feb. 5, 2015

Excerpt: “Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children”, the Pope said in his letter dated February 2 – the full text of which is published below. “Everything possible must be done to rid the Church of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors and to open pathways of reconciliation and healing for those who were abused,” he stated.  He repeated yet again that “there is absolutely no place in ministry for those who abuse minors.”

22 thoughts on “Pope Requests Bishops’ Cooperation With Commission

  1. I was completely wrong. Back in October I said the Pope would quickly deal with Bishop Finn. As far as I know Finn is doing just fine. Every time I believe that the RCC Inc. will ‘do the right thing’ -I’M WRONG AGAIN!

    1. Dr Who I have not given up hope..as my devout Catholic friend who has long worked within the Church says, “there is real time and then there is Church time” Investigations, reports etc that would take weeks in the real world ,take months and years in the Church world..basically everything takes months or years in the Church world. My hunch is that something will happen with Finn, he will either ‘retire” or the reasons for removing him will be very vague and diplomatic. Of course this may be wishful thinking on my part that Pope Francis will take action, but I haven’t given up yet

      1. I agree, Kathy. I think that some sort of convoluted resolution to the Finn debacle will appear at some point, and it may come from the Commission as the official articulator of it. O’Malley, as head of the Commission, knows a Finn resolution is imperative if the U.S. Church is to advance on the matter of sexual abuse. Additionally, were the Commission to articulate a Finn resolution, it would effectively increase trust on the part of the faithful in the Commission, itself. This is paramount… that the faithful BELIEVE in the effectiveness and authenticity of the Commission.

        1. When an institution functions according to a medieval timeframe, as opposed to in-real-time, it’s asserting its power, its “special” status, and its eliteness and Otherness. Its arrogance is at the expense of real people, in real time, and in real predicaments. In the end, it’s a form of cruelty and utter insensitivity. When an institution can’t function in real time, it renders “pastoral” meaningless.

        2. I agree Sr. Maureen. If he does leave office, he’s likely to be transitioned into a comfortable retirement due to ‘health reasons’.

        3. Sr. Maureen I was thinking the same thing “their time” is no longer acceptable especially because dragging their feet keeps kids at risk. My gut response to the above was well they need to get on “our” time now .

      2. The other thing to remember is that the Charter for Child Protection does not hold Bishops accountable, so they are investigating if Finn is able to be an effective leader of the Diocese..not if he did something wrong.
        Obviously the situation at hand all stems from the Ratigan case but even if he is removed I would never expect to see in writing that he was removed because of the Ratigan case..instead the question being asked is concerning the faith or lack of faith the people of the diocese have in his ability to lead. If the Charter included sanctions for Bishops and held them accountable he would already have been removed…but we all know that it does not.

  2. Well the pope should lead by example and send all the files in the secret archives to the appropriate law enforcement organizations, that will be a start, second DEMAND that the SOL be eliminated and that a Survivor Window be enacted. Or continue on a PR tour and do none of the the above, what will happen ? I bet none of the above !

  3. In addition to Finn, lets us not forget the others who engaged in cover up and they are still in ministry.

  4. The Pope has created a Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. This Commission is an attempt by this Pope to get people to follow the rules and the beliefs to protect the church. This Pope wants answers in documents, in rules and in regulations. But rules can be interpreted and clergymen interpret the church rules to the law itself. Following the rules is not maturity because like this Commission it is just following the rules and official procedures. Someone else is taking responsibility for making decisions. There is draw backs to this type of leadership. First the Pope is doing things because circumstances is ordering him to do it. Second it divides everyone into “those for us” and “those against us.”

    This Commission will need to make decisions timidly and covering all bases with legalism to guide and protect the church. This Commission will go around in circles, unable to make up their minds, unsure of themselves and what they really want to do. Therefore, the leadership this Pope needs to show is courage, moral courage to put everyone on the line to what is right. His leadership needs to be authoritative, decisiveness and being in charge. Yet from this Pope we are getting mixed signals and no one is getting a straight answer from him. This Pope is dithering around and procrastinating. This is spineless leadership.

  5. I have never been a great believer in commissions .It seems to me that if a politician or leader doesn’t really want to deal with a problem they appoint a commission. The problem of the sexual abuse of children by members of the Catholic Clergy and the subsequent cover up by the Catholic Hierarchy doesn’t need to be studied any more. Any one with half a brain knows what the problem is and who is responsible. What is not needed is a new report that rehashes old worn out theories about why priests abuse children. What is needed is action. The Pope can take action or he can kick the can down the road with his commission and its report which like most reports from commissions will be totally ignored.

    1. Thanks Jim and the catholic church is actively resisting seeing the problem they have caused. All their energy is now going toward maintaining their defenses against dealing with reality. The defense is resistance. They are persuading themselves that human limitations do not apply to them. I even get the impression the leadership in the church think of themselves as supermen who are beyond morality and can do as they please. This is passive aggressive and the catholic church must be stopped.

  6. In September of 2015 pope Francis will address the joint membership of the United States Congress the day before coming to Philadelphia. I have a problem with this on so many different levels. I firmly believe in the separation of Church and State. We only need to look at SOL legislation in our own state capital to see what the influence of one religion can do to the legislative process. Archbishop Chaput and the Catholic Lobby in Harrisburg has effectively blocked legislation to protect children from sexual abusers .I am sure the Pope will tell the U.S. congress all of the shortcomings the Capitalist System brings to bear on the world. He will point out the treatment that the poor, disadvantaged and those who are suffering is not what Christ would have wanted .At the same time he will ignore those who have suffered horribly at the hands of the Catholic Clergy.Father Andrew Greeley before his death estimated that there are one hundred thousand adult victims of Catholic Clergy Sex abuse in the United States alone.These victims are suffering from the abuse in all kinds of ways. Serious mental illness including depression,addiction to drugs and alcohol and suicidal thoughts and attempts. And it is not only the victims but the families of victims who also suffer. The mothers and fathers, the sisters and brothers,the wives and children all suffer as the result of what was done to little boys and girls by members of his clergy. I ask Pope Francis when he talks about those who are suffering to think about the hundred thousand victims of clergy here in the United States. I ask him to talk about the countless thousands in Ireland, Scotland, Spain and the rest of the world.I ask him to talk about the harm that has been done to Catholic Families throughout the world.To preach to others about their shortcomings without dealing with ones own is the utmost in hypocrisy.

  7. Jim, well said!! This is suppose to be the year of the family, well, the victims of priest sexual abuse and our families who continue to suffer with us are not considered. Once again forget we exist.

  8. For all of these reasons, I now ASK for your close and complete cooperation with the Commission for the Protection of Minors.

    And what are the consequences for individual bishops and cardinals and their diocese should they DECLINE to give their close and complete cooperation with the Commission for the Protection of Minors? Who will ultimately be responsible to protect our children, within the RCC organization, structure and leadership, in those dioceses and archdioceses where the bishops/cardinals have decided not to offer their full cooperation with the Pope’s efforts?

    What specific repercussions and/or consequences will occur if a particular bishop/cardinal chooses not to cooperate? Most importantly, who will protect our children and young adults from sexual abuse and predation in situations like these?

  9. Coming here to share how a “situation” was handled in our church….

    A parent complained about an adult male not honoring their child’s “no” when offering candy. The male acted like he was “sneaking” it to the child while the parents weren’t looking. Parent asked child where the candy came from…child said who gave it to him…parent contacts pastor. Explains situation.

    Pastor is upset. Discusses with bishop, takes issue to the executive council of the church (local), and the parent was informed every step of the way. Parent and man are brought before the executive council where parent tells the man if he ever doesn’t honor the boundaries of a child again, he will face harassment charges. Btw…the man is a well-like man of the congregation. Pastor documents situation, tells the man his behavior won’t be tolerated, man complains…to which the pastor tells everyone that of prime importance is the safety of children and creating a climate that children feel safe and welcomed, not awkward and confused. He will not waiver on that.

    Timeline that all of this occurred? 3 weeks!

    Pope Francis could issue any rule he wants and every bishop would obey. I want to like Pope Francis…but he isn’t different than any of the previous Popes on this issue. How long will he make the children and parishioners pay for his cheap talk.

    Allow me to add, “There is no room in ministry for those who foster silence and empty promises.”

    1. Survivor’s wife, you use the words “cheap talk” and it speaks volumes about this Pope. This Pope is being shown as Mr. Nice Guy, smooth and slick, even getting off airplane on red carpet. It is like we are buying a performance. His leadership in the church also feels like he needs the Vatican to establish their superiority over others. Rising above others appears to reinforce the church’s self-esteem. It appears to make him feel the church is desirable, and more worthy of attention and admiration. It is style over substance and how he is coming across to the public is now what is supremely important.

      He is making life difficult for people. He is also weak and dangerous. He is particularly dangerous because as a leader he will go to any length to uphold the church’s “traditional values.” I suspect he will also define an enemy and settling on a scapegoat of some sort as to focus his aggression there. His scapegoat will probably be the devil. But in reality we are dealing with the very embodiment of weakness and insecurity, fear itself. Because he is an authoritarian and the foundation of the church is shifting, this Pope is a coward and is simply caving into fear.

      On a positive note, though, thank you for your truth and the preciousness of your true identity. The depth of your heart is your connection and nothing else is more satisfying. Your presence is significant!

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