Wednesday, 24 January 2018



Francis again cries 'calumny' defending bishop accused of abuse cover-up
Jan 22, 2018
by Joshua J. McElwee National Catholic Reporter



ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM PERU -- Pope Francis has again firmly defended his appointment of a Chilean bishop accused of covering up clergy sexual abuse, renewing a claim that accounts against the prelate are "calumny," a claim that survivor advocates say has brought the Catholic Church back to the bleakest point of the abuse crisis.
While the pontiff did apologize for causing survivors pain with an earlier defense of Bishop Juan Barros Madrid, he also repeatedly insisted during a 50-minute press conference aboard the papal flight to Rome overnight Jan. 21 that there was no evidence against the prelate, despite survivors' accounts to the contrary.
Asked by three separate journalists why he appeared ready to believe Barros but not the abuse survivors, the pope repeated iterations of the phrase "there is no evidence." And although Francis said he would accept any new evidence brought forward with an "open heart," he also stated: "I am convinced he is innocent."
"This is what I can say to you with sincerity: Barros will remain there," the pope said. "I cannot condemn him if I do not have the evidence."


BISHOP BARROS MADRID BEING ATTACKED AT MASS

Francis first called the accusations against Barros calumny Jan. 18, when reporters questioned him about his appointment of the bishop during the first part of his Jan. 15-21 visit to Chile and Peru.
That charge led abuse tracking website BishopAccountability.org to say the pope had "turned back the clock to the darkest days" of the abuse scandals, and that it would make victims afraid to come forward for fear of not being believed.
Boston Cardinal Seรกn O'Malley, one of the pontiff's closest advisors, also issued an unusually blunt statement in response to the pope's words, saying they had been "a source of great pain" for survivors.
The pope repeated the slander charge again on the papal flight, stating: "One who says with insistence, without having the evidence, that you have done something, that is calumny."
Asked by a journalist about survivors who claim that, as a priest in the 1980s and '90s, Barros was a witness to inappropriate behavior by Fr. Fernando Karadima, Francis responded: "They have not come forward. They have not given evidence for the judgment."
"You, with good will, tell me there are victims," the pope told the journalist. "But I have not seen them because they have not presented themselves."
"But if someone comes to give me evidence, I will be the first to listen," he continued. "We have to be fair in this, very fair."
At least three of Karadima's victims have said publicly that Barros was present to witness the priest abusing or touching them in inappropriate ways. After Francis made his original defense of Barros Jan. 18, one of those victims, Josรฉ Andrรฉs Murillo, told NCR he was left wondering why the pope has met with Barros but not them.
Francis also revealed on the flight that Barros, who was serving as the head of Chile's military ordinariate before the pope appointed him to the small diocese of Osorno in 2015, has twice offered his resignation. The pontiff said the bishop offered to resign both shortly before and shortly after his latest appointment.
Of the first offer, the pope said: "He came to Rome. I said, 'No, you do not play like this because this is admitting anticipated guilt.' Every case ... is investigated. I refused the resignation."
Of the second offer, Francis recalled telling Barros he would be heading to Osorno: "I said, 'No, you go.' I spoke for a long time with him. Others spoke for a long time with him. You go."
"The investigation of Barros continues," said the pontiff. "I cannot condemn him because I do not have the evidence. But I am also convinced he is innocent."
"This is what I can say to you with sincerity: Barros will remain there," the pope said. "I cannot condemn him if I do not have the evidence."
Barros' appointment was met with large protests in Osorno, where large numbers of people crowded the local cathedral during his installation Mass, attempting to prevent him from formally taking up his role.
Although Francis has been praised in his nearly five year papacy for some of his actions to address clergy sexual abuse, especially his repeated declarations of zero tolerance for abusers, others have left survivors and advocates questioning if the issue is receiving the highest priority at the Vatican.
In one example, in 2015 the pope attempted to institute a new church tribunal specifically charged with investigating bishops suspected of mishandling abuse cases. That tribunal never came into function, with the pontiff instead later directing several separate Vatican offices to take on the work.
Apology to abuse victims
Questions about Barros dominated the press conference, with three of the eight allowed queries focusing on the issue. The remaining questions focused on diverse aspects of the pope's trip abroad and did not touch other international or church subjects, following the Vatican's insistence that the pontiff wished to primarily talk about his voyage.
Francis acknowledged that his Jan. 18 defense of Barros had caused pain for abuse survivors, and said he wished to thank O'Malley for his statement, which he called "very right."
The pope made a distinction between seeking evidence and seeking proof of Barros' guilt, stating he erred in originally saying he had not seen proof against the bishop instead of saying evidence.
"I should have said evidence," said the pontiff. "I know that many abused people cannot bring forward proof. They don't have it. Or maybe sometimes they have it and they are ashamed and they suffer in silence. The drama of those who were abused is tremendous."
"With this, I have to say I apologize, because the word proof hurt," said Francis, imagining an abuse survivor asking: "But do I have to go search for a certificate for this?'
"It was a translated word from the legal principle and it hurt, and I apologize to them if it hurt without realizing it," said the pope. "I know how much they suffer, hearing that the pope says in their face 'bring me a letter with the proof' is a slap."
Clergy abuse commission
Another example survivors and advocates have pointed at to question whether clergy sexual abuse is taking the highest priority in Francis' papacy is the case of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which is led by O'Malley.


CARDINAL O'MALLEY

Francis created the group, the first of its kind, in 2014 to advise him on abuse issues. But since the original three-year terms of its members expired Dec. 17, neither the pope nor the Vatican had previously made clear whether the group was continuing, either with its current membership or an eventual new slate of appointees.
On the flight, the pope acknowledged that the terms of the group's members had expired. He said he had received Jan. 9 a "definitive list" of names of possible new members of the commission and of current members who would like to stay in their roles.
Francis called the time-delay on the appointments "normal" within the processes of the Vatican bureaucracy and said there were "two observations" about the proposed list of members he wanted to get clarity on before announcing the new commission.
It is known that two of the original members of the commission, both abuse survivors, will not be continuing on.
Briton Peter Saunders was placed on leave from the group in 2016, after commenting publicly on several clergy abuse cases, including that of Barros, and has since resigned. Irishwoman Marie Collins left last March, citing frustration with Vatican officials' reluctance to put in place the commission's recommendations.

PAT SAYS:
This is a very sad case - and greatly complicated by the worldwide publicity about priests abusing children.
But of course, Francis is correct in one sense - before any priest or bishop can be removed or punished for abuse or covering up abuse there must be evidence that they did so.
That does not mean that the evidence has to be of the standard of proof expected in criminal cases in the Western world for a conviction.
But there still must be evidence and proof. The baying of a crowd is never a good way to proceed - and innocent priests have been accused of abuse and cleared by the courts.
What bewilders me about this case is the level of investigation that seems to have taken place.
The RC Church has enough resources to bring the accusing victims to Rome for a long meeting with Pope Francis. Let Francis sit with them and look into their eyes and hear their voices and make up his mind if they deserved to be believed or not.
The bishop is accused of covering up for a priest the Church accepts was guilty and has now been sent off to spend the rest of his life in prayer and repentance. 
If the victims were telling the truth about the priest why would they lie about the bishop?
And Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston, who serves on Francis' abuse commission has said that Francis has hurt the victims by what he has said to and about them. 
Is there something about this whole case that we do not know? Are there political machinations at work anywhere? We do not know. The bishop himself has offered to resign twice and Francis said no.
It is not good to allow this case to linger. It is dividing a diocese and receiving worldwide publicity and damaging Francis' reputation for tackling child abuse. 

In the old days Francis would have been accused of CAUSING ADMIRATIO.

78 comments:

  1. Pope Francis had to endure this harassment during an overnight flight! I can't see why the Press couldn't show more consideration for somehow of his age and at least allow him his privacy to rest. There are plenty of daylight hours, but I don't suppose that even occurred to them.

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    1. For goodness sake, how do you know he was harassed?
      He obviously enjoyed all the publicity, why else was he going?
      Sure he could sleep whilst waving to the smaller crowds and sleep during the services.
      There would not have been plenty of daylight hours...it was a publicity tour,just like the one in Ireland many years ago.
      There won’t be the same hullabaloo this time around.
      No daddy bishops and senior clergy...daddy also...to make orations to the gullible laity

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    2. @13.10.
      A silly facetious response... Why did you even bother?

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    3. Which paedo bishop was lugubrious Francis excusing now? He can't half talk.

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    4. 04:10, Papa Francesco has been harassing abuse victims with HIS words, has he not? Accusing these people of calumny is a very serious matter. The old coot even had the gall to say that he would act against Barros only if there was evidence. Double standards! Where is the evidence that Barros' accusers are guilty of calumny? WHERE IS IT? There is absolutely none that I am aware of, yet it didn't stop that papal old coot from accusing THEM of calumny.

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    5. Yeah, 17:31, he can't HALF talk...utter nonsense.

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    6. I'll never defend anyone who has intentionally hurt survivors of Child abuse. There is an issue that I've seen a few times on blogs though. 'Calunnia' in Italian (and Spanish I presume) is more accurately translated as defamation in English... That's a common term to express injury when there is no proof provided.

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  2. Poor, poor Papa Francesco, the blusteringingly ignorant buffoon.

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    1. Nasty response, Magna.. Shame on you..

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    2. They are kinder words than Francis chose for the people who allege that Barros witnessed their abuse by that priest.

      I hope you took the trouble to tell Francis that he should be ashamed of himself.

      And that poor, confused man said that there is no evidence against Barros? The allegations themselves constitute evidence, which Francis is very conveniently ignoring; worse, he stated that he believes in Barros' innocence, which is just another, less direct, way of accusing those people of calumny.

      So go on: write to Francis and tell him what you told me: that he should be ashamed of himself.

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    3. Magna 05.36: Poor, poor idiot (drunk)Magna, the usual blusteringly, ignorant buffoon. You jackass - the hour of the morning tells it all - still up drinking and making an idiot of yourself with your crass, infantile comment.

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    4. Ah, g'wan, 16:08! Show me you have at least a modicum of intelligence by addressing my post at 15:33.๐Ÿ˜†

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    5. Magna 17.27: as I said, you deserve only contempt. You are a nasty, infantile, pathetic specimen. When you are stupidly drunk you are indeed a jackass. And if you had a modicum of self respect yiu'd disappear into a rehab centre. To quite back your own words you used about Pope Francis : "the blusteringly ignorant buffoon..." A perfect description of you, Magna. You leave many of us wondering how you could ever have meaningful interaction with other human beings. Therein lies your psychological imbalances.

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    6. He doesn't! We see that regularly proved here

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    7. Er, I have trying for a while now to have 'meaningful interaction' with you, but you keep running away.

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  3. It is good to highlight world events. I believe many will say ok and life goes on as normal. At home is the place to start with tiny positive steps

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  4. Back in 2015, Peter Saunders also called on the Vatican to sack its financial chief, Cardinal George Pell, over his alleged involvement in covering up abuse. Now Pell himself is on trial for alleged abuse!

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  5. The bishop offered to resign before and after being appointed.
    Why can’t he tell the truth then and say if he saw the abuse....it appears to me that he has no moral integrity.

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  6. CG was partying with the COI crowd at Christmas. He was the life and soul of the party.

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    1. Same in Barcelona. The pics are great.

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    2. It has been a while since we had a good scandal.

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    3. That was lovely!

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    4. 13:02 Tune in at Midnight tonight!

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  7. Xxxxxxxxx was locking lips with men thats how I know he is gay.

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    1. It was CPR. Seminary Councils require advanced training in mouth to mouth resuscitation. Ongoing training and development.

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    2. O thank God! At last an I nocent explanation.

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    3. Is it true that seminarians who complete the advanced course can give intramuscular injections?

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    4. Just being affectionate.

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    5. That may be possible, I'm not quite sure. I think its at the discretion of the Seminary Council Clearly only the best would be put forward for that position.

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    6. People trying to be clever here.. but why is it not working? Too obscure? Too smartass and lacking in respect... That'll be it.

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  8. Have my alarm set for 11.55pm. Hope it’s juicy!

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    1. Pope benedict and gorgeous george have got married. Angelina and Brad are sellin them a wee African baby

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    2. I'm glad they are finally tying the knot.

      Anyone know the baby's name?

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    3. No, but apparently Hans Kung has been invited to be the godfather.

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    4. I don't think Hans Kung will be taking it on. He is very ill and only weeks off his 90th birthday come up in March.
      The Truth is on its way, Hans!
      Same for everyone..

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    5. Hans Kung will have no problem when he meets TRUTH.

      He has sincerely and honestly searched for it all his life - unlike many others!

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    6. Kung has "searched" for Truth certainly and one day he will find.

      Delete
  9. I've made a mitre out of wall paper and put some designs on it. Could I send it to you? will you wear it? all in the name of recycling

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    1. Only if it's the £100 a roll wall paper From Noel Treanor's place.

      You wouldn't have one of his £250 a call door handles would you - to use as a holy water sprinkler :-)

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    2. (16.08
      You'd enjoy the Blue Peter programme if you're allowed up to see it.

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  10. Thank you for that alert -- I was just saying to a friend we should be due a scandal soon.

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    Replies
    1. The boys in black never disappoint.

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    2. McCamley certainly raised the bar for them.

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  11. 18-01. I do hope you are not going to be the subject of tomorrow’s blog !

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  12. Francis won't act against Barros without 'evidence', even though the allegations against him themselves (apparently, there are several) constitute evidence. So why did he accuse some of the abuse victims of 'calumny'? Has he evidence for this? No, hasn't. Francis has double standards, which makes him a hypocrite.

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    1. That sounds about right Magna. Nobody seems to be able to refute it here.

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    2. Either that or nobody could be bothered wrestling words with a pompous knowall. Take your pick!

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    3. But surely the best way to reply to a 'knowall' is to offer a clinical and inspired counter point of his case. But nobody seems able to - and on such an important subject. That only adds weight to his point of view.

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    4. No way! The best way to show that you're unimpressed by a knowall is to ignore him. Completely and fully.

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    5. We are not really here to be impressed or unimpressed with somebody else or name call. We want to understand whether the words at 18.19 are true or false?

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  13. Er, I have trying for a while now to have 'meaningful interaction' with you, but you keep running away.

    Address my point about Papa Francesco: that the old coot has shown a double standard in his calling for evidence against Barros and his accusing abuse victims of 'calumny' without even a shred of evidence.

    G'wan! Try to square that circle of papal hypocrisy.๐Ÿ˜†

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  14. Magna, yiu've commented seven times so far today. Is your life so boring, sad or lonely that you are hooked, addicted to this blog. That you seem to surface so frequently on this blog is a sad reflection on the emptiness of your life. And you with so much intelligence!!!

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    1. Well you see the trouble is nobody will talk to me and the last woman I humped sprung a leak so I have to comment here!
      G'wan sheesh have another drink

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    2. Get the A A out... No, the other A A!... the kind that can fix a puncture... Or maybe it's a plumber that's needed..

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  15. Answer my point about Papa Francesco.

    As for this blog, I absolutely love it! Why wouldn't anyone?!๐Ÿ˜†

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    1. You believe in Medjugorje, yet you act contrary to what Our Lady asks of us. We are asked to live the message of the Gospel and when we don't we must take a look at ourselves. No? Rely with a leveled answer, not smart arsed.

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    2. I spoke the truth about Papa Francesco, 22:32. Doesn't Gospa urge us to be truthful? However, you're not interested in what Francesco has done: his blatant hypocrisy. Why? Because he is il papa and, therefore, can do no wrong? Does a person's sin get a pass if he is pope.

      If I am not living 'the message of the Gospel', then I'm not the only one.

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    3. That doesn't excuse you, as that's the same excuse dissenting clergy would use. Live the Gospel, don't just agree and think that you are exempt because of the human failings of others.

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    4. Magna.. You get more silly by the day. Stop writing nonsense!

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    5. If Magna genuinely loved the blog he would do the decent thing and leave it to others instead of always muscling in with his half - baked nonsense into everybody's conversation. Time to step quietly aside.. But will it happen?

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    6. What's the nonsense, 23:24? That Papa Francesco isn't a hypocrite?

      I don't make this accusation without evidence, which expresses more consideration for him than he expressed for those he arbitrarily accused of calumny.

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  16. Daily Mail highlights Pope Francis's less than successful visit to South America.

    www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5306811/The-Pope-denounces-fake-news.html

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    1. So Papa Francesco doesn't like criticism of himself and conveniently brands it 'fake news'. He doesn't mind, though, indulging in a little fake news of his own: accusing abuse victims, without even a shred of evidence, of 'calumny'.

      No, Papa Francesco's criticism of the Press is motivated by fear: he'd rather his words and conduct remained unreported...when it suits him.

      No, Francesco, you don't get to call the shots here.

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    2. 1.3 million at mass... disappointing. Media don't like numbers like that.
      They covered the 'womens march' which thousands attended, but not the March for Life which over a hundred thousand attended. Why are you reading English secular propaganda...and believing it?

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    3. Why don't you learn English, 21:52, or are you too stupid to?

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    4. Oh please!. Let's have some originality.. Don't tell me we have degenerated into re- hashing bits of the Daily Mail of all papers. We don't need to sink that far. Have more pride and confidence in yourself and worthwhile creativity.

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    5. Learn what it means to be spiritual, or are you afraid of that? Don't think MC replied. Probably trolley, take the envelopes n keep the hair looking neat, fake seminarian.

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  17. Magna Carta also known at JL. Maynooth are well onto you!

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  18. 22:49, I suspect that those at Maynooth, given its reputation, are 'well onto' one another. (Or should that be 'well into one another'?๐Ÿ˜ˆ)

    Keep guessing about my identity.๐Ÿ˜†

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  19. That silly little man again.. Magna.. popping up like a bad penny...

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    1. I used to wonder why people gave out about him and I genuinely couldn't see why. However, now I do. +Pat, please be careful in verifying his comments, as at times they are non productive and sometimes vile.

      Sr. Mary (The Real One)

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    2. Not as vile, dear, as Papa Francesco's accusing abuse victims of calumny without any evidence for it.

      Of course, his sin (detraction) doesn't bother you, does it? Being part of the institutional Church rather than a disciple of Christ, it wouldn't.


      Funny, isn't it, that such a highly public, and papal, sin as this causes someone as 'vile' as me more consternation than it causes you, a so-called 'bride of Christ'.

      Funny that.

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    3. Sr Mary please ignore these ravings. Sometimes one of my other personalities takes over and makes me be unpleasant.
      Magna Carta
      (the real one)

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    4. And then I put emoticons in comments to make it look like I have real emotions

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  20. Perhaps we are missing the point here. Francis has a well-earned reputation for ignoring gross behaviour by his supporters. E.g. Cardinal Daneels the defender of abusers and the scourge of the abused - who stood on the balcony with him after his election and this Bishop Barros who the abused claim was present when they were abused (if they are lying why didn't they 'go the whole hog' and accuse him of abuse- strange that!). However, get close to the financial corruption in the Vatican - Cardinal Pell - and off you are sent to answer decades old accusations that were somehow never made until some of Francis' supporters became uneasy about his enthusiasm for sorting out the mess and the thefts.

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