The Intentional Silence of the Pope

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Whether Pope Francis is guilty or innocent of a coverup on behalf of a criminal clergy, it is a grave injustice to the victims of those crimes that he now gives no valid response to the charges he has been questioned about concerning the Vigano letter.

A Guilty Person Evades

It’s natural to think that a guilty, unremorseful person would want to evade discovery until the last possible moment.  A tactic of silence or obscuring the matter at hand with unclear responses would tend to dismiss concern for the victims altogether.  The guilty might conceivably throw suspicions in another direction entirely.  A maneuver like this makes sense in the case of someone too fearful to face the consequences of his actions, or lack thereof.  Such a person, in my view, would have an extremely frail conscience.  Questions concerning sincerity would necessarily arise.  If indeed, Pope Francis’ lack of response is to hide guilt, a serious absence of genuineness overshadows his entire papacy, especially toward those very ones he has always spoken up for, defended, reached out to.

If the Pope is Innocent

If, on the other hand, the Pope is completely innocent of any wrongdoing, refraining from giving a valid response to accusations against him by Vigano is a virtual slap in the face to victims he purports to care so much about.  They, more than anyone else, need the reassurance immediately, from Pope Francis’ own lips, that he had no part whatever in the coverup of McCarrick’s or any other clergies’ crimes.

Once affirming his innocence, he could have stood ready to prove it, trusting in God as he ought, as proceedings took place, being a true guide and holy example to his flock of courage and conviction.  But the way Pope Francis has conducted himself in this confrontation with a crisis, in my estimation, shows lack of character, especially for someone in his eminent position, as head of more than one billion worldwide, and a great influence on the rest of the planet as well.

A Coverup?

Supposing, once more, that the Pope was indeed guilty of a coverup, would not, at the very least, an apology be due, a cry for mercy from those so mercilessly wronged?  What would be in it for him?  The grace of saving humility embedded in an admission of guilt, would not exonerate him certainly, but it would surely bring with it God’s own mercy upon him, a clearing of conscience, and quite probably, a quicker reunification, cleansing, and healing of the Church from within.

Most importantly, such a cry for forgiveness from the chief shepherd would be at last a sign to the victims of clerical abuse that someone is willing to take the rap for the grave injustices they were forced to endure.  The way of Christ would finally be shown in this matter, an example to take up in turn for every clerical offender on behalf of those wounded and finally submit to a just penalty for their crimes.  To be Church is to be Christ; to be Christ is to be love, and as St. John Paul II said, quite correctly, “Love is sacrifice”.  Even in the profound brokenness of acknowledging one’s guilt, one can stand tall in one’s own sacrificial offering of genuine remorse and humility, when it is united with Christ in the brokenness He endured for all our sordid offenses.

Again, if innocence surrounds the Pope, and he refuses to voice that, he wrongs his innocent shepherds (for all are potentially under fire in this tragic ordeal), deprived of the goodness, strength, hope and support, only a virtuous leader of courageous moral character can impart, even when under attack.  He also wrongs his entire flock by betraying truth and the demands of standing by it, putting one’s full faith in the God one has vowed to give his life for.

What of the Victims

what of the victims incurably damaged . . .

in need of a word of hope and healing . . .

in need of hearing a word of outrage from their Pontiff . . .

in need of being taken into account . . .

in need of truly being loved and held in dignity as they should always have been . . .

in need of an innocent leader intent on and able to impart all these things to them most of all . . .

what of the victims in this horrific silence?

A grave injustice of silence feeds the fears of self-preservation at the expense always of true victims. What facilitates, urges, motivates our non-clarifying, non-responsive pope?  Whether his innocence or his guilt is behind it all, I certainly cannot say.  Whatever is the truth, I am personally left with the sad conclusion that the Church’s victims play no part in the pope’s present dubious handling of the disastrous situation laid before him.  Perhaps anyone reading this could offer up special prayers for those victims, and for Pope Francis and our Church, especially today if you have not thought to do it already.

 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confessionFor we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.So let us confidently approach the throne of grace to receive mercy and to find grace for timely help. (Hebrews 4: 14-16)

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6 thoughts on “The Intentional Silence of the Pope”

  1. Dr. Edouard Belaga

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    pax
    It’s impossible to defend or promote the person of the Pope, one can only try to understand his words, and in the case of a good understanding and solidarity — to support and to promote them. Even more catastrophic is to attack him — with all our sins of simple people on us !
    The Apostles were discussing the person of Jesus, before His last days, doubting and admiring Him — they all abandoned and betrayed Him before the Cross, excluding probably Saint Jean.
    My point is not the person of Francis, but my Catholic belief that Jesus stays behind him.

  2. St. Peter chose to be crucified upside down, because he knew he was not worthy to die in the same manner as Our Lord. St. Peter’s most recent successor, however, feels comfortable in comparing himself directly with Christ. Which is more seemly? Which is more pastoral?

  3. Dr. Edouard Belaga

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    pax
    I disagree completely with the radical request of this mail.
    I share the “Fascinating” of Mr Tito Edwards in what concerns the Christian clarifications of the post concerning the behavior of a Catholic cleric in similar circumstances.
    But you cannot press the Head of our Church, who is actually and today is second to Jesus Christ, to give you immediate answers: he might have millions reasons to wait and look for good solutions for some hidden from us problems. I sincerely hope and pray that Francis will find the way in this tremendous American crisis, for all of us, even not Americans and not so involved in your prosperous democracy à la Trump.

    1. Millions of reasons? BS. The “Head of our Church” and his pontificate are tools of Satan. The December 2012 300 page dossier should be immediately disclosed so that the faithful can see how far the smoke of Satan has infiltrated Holy Mother the Church so that Satan’s minions can be excised from the Bride of Christ.

    2. That’s going too far. My impression of Francis is that he is not even a mediocre Pope, but is on course to be the worst Pope in at least 500 years — and yet, as most of us undoubtedly cried out when he was elected, “Habemus Papam!” He is FAMILY, regardless of his shortcomings, and his story is not yet finished; he is not yet decisively and only the tool of Satan, and Satan himself is, after all, so inferior to God that God uses Satan to do good against Satan’s will. My point is that whatever the flaws of Jorge Mario Bergoglio, it is still our duty to offer hopeful prayers for him. Who knows? St. Theophilus of Adana is said to have sold his soul to the devil, and yet to have died a Saint — a story that may or may not be true, but which is not inherently implausible, the mercy of God is so great.

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