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Pope and Change

26 Feb

Dreher reports and reacts:

A Catholic priest sent in this shocking, outrageous AP story from Rome. Excerpts:

Pope Francis has quietly reduced sanctions against a handful of pedophile priests, applying his vision of a merciful church even to its worst offenders in ways that survivors of abuse and the pope’s own advisers question.

One case has come back to haunt him: An Italian priest who received the pope’s clemency was later convicted by an Italian criminal court for his sex crimes against children as young as 12. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, The Associated Press has learned.

The Inzoli case is one of several in which Francis overruled the advice of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and reduced a sentence that called for the priest to be defrocked, two canon lawyers and a church official told AP. Instead, the priests were sentenced to penalties including a lifetime of penance and prayer and removal from public ministry.

In some cases, the priests or their high-ranking friends appealed to Francis for clemency by citing the pope’s own words about mercy in their petitions, the church official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the proceedings are confidential.

“With all this emphasis on mercy … he is creating the environment for such initiatives,” the church official said, adding that clemency petitions were rarely granted by Pope Benedict XVI, who launched a tough crackdown during his 2005-2013 papacy and defrocked some 800 priests who raped and molested children. [Emphasis mine — RD]

Note well:

Francis scrapped the commission’s proposed tribunal for bishops who botch abuse cases following legal objections from the congregation. The commission’s other major initiative — a guideline template to help dioceses develop policies to fight abuse and safeguard children — is gathering dust. The Vatican never sent the template to bishops’ conferences, as the commission had sought, or even linked it to its main abuse-resource website.

And so, the precious concept of mercy becomes a byword for perpetuating clericalism and injustice, swaddling it in a slanket of sentimentality.

I’ve noticed, at The American Conservative in the past, and again in a comment on this piece, some people comparing Pope Francis to Trump; seeing him as a maverick, coming in, breaking rules, changing things, etc.

I contend the comparison is invalid; that Pope Benedict was more like what Trump is: someone who tried to drain the swamp, and truly go against the grain of what had been (and unfortunately is, again). In the comments, Leon Podles (yes, that onenoted:

Ratzinger’s hard line against abuse (which was ignored by John Paul II) is being undone by Francis, all in the name of “mercy.”

So, Benedict was the maverick, the radical reactionary who came in and tried to fix things, only to find himself blocked, and his efforts undone by his successor.

The better comparison, IMO, for Pope Francis, is in fact to Obama; he is changing some things, in a negative direction, while trying to undo the good that Benedict wrought.

As Podles went on to further observe:

Francis supporters want him to legitimize divorce and remarriage and silence his critics; if it also means tolerating pedophiles, well, what’s a few kids as long as Francis goes long with the Sexual Revolution in the Church.

Just as, in politics, progs loved Obama for radically pushing their agenda, and didn’t care about any other considerations, like increased Islamic immigration and resultant terrorism, the alienation of poor and working-class heartland whites, increased black militancy and racial strife actually resulting rather than improved racial harmony, etc.

Of course, the difference is, the order is exactly backwards between the Roman Catholic Church’s Trump and Obama pope analogues, in terms of the prog following the maverick conservative trying to actually fix things. I can relate, as a Canadian, because, for all the issues I had with our last Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, he actually tried to and did accomplish some good, much of which is being undone by Justin Trudeau, prog Canadians’ ‘hopey-changey’-wet-dream, selfie-mad leader. (Though I’m happy with the Brexit and Trump votes, and the trends we are appearing to see in France, the Netherlands, and Germany, and for that matter Kellie Leitch’s theme in her campaign to be the next Tory leader, I’m frustrated that my fellow Canadians chose to embrace our own Obamesque, hopey-changey figure at precisely the time when the rest of the west is turning in a nationalist and populist direction. {Sigh}…)

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5 responses to “Pope and Change

  1. Will S.

    February 26, 2017 at 1:46 am

    Of course, the key difference is, through the electoral system, Donald Trump was chosen by the people, having first won the vote of the delegates of the Republican Party to become their nominee. Obama was also chosen by the people – a different subset, but via the same electoral process (at least after having won his own party’s leadership nomination).

    Whereas the Latin American leftist-populist-influenced Pope Francis was chosen by the conclave, in the usual manner of the Catholic Church, which is very much top-down rule – like the entrenched bureaucracy who are #Resisting Trump today. (Note: I’m not getting into any discussion here of the relative merits of different ecclesiastical government types, episcopal versus presbyterian versus congregational; I’m just noting the key difference in any comparison of the papacy and the American presidency.) And Benedict XVI, like John Paul II, was chosen by the same method. Make of all that what you will.

     
  2. Socially Extinct

    February 26, 2017 at 2:00 am

    Interesting analogy between the Popes and Presidents.

    Some conspiracy-minded folk might argue the President ultimately is chosen by a conclave as well; in fact, perhaps the conclave’s desires were spurned in the 2016 election, thus the ensuing chaos that will not die!

     
    • Will S.

      February 26, 2017 at 2:03 am

      Thanks.

      Indeed!

       

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