Pope Francis is doing an awful job this week of letting victims of sexual abuse know he’s on their side.
As we saw earlier this week, he gave a speech in Chile condemning the sexual abusers and vowing to take steps to curb further problems within its walls. But right after he finished that speech, the pope celebrated Mass standing next to Bishop Juan Barros, a man who reportedly defended an alleged abuser in his own church.
How on earth could Pope Francis sink even lower than that?
Yesterday, he dismissed all those criticisms, saying that people accusing Barros of wrongdoing were full of shit. So take that, victims.
Francis said that until he sees proof that Bishop Juan Barros was complicit in covering up the sex crimes of the Rev. Fernando Karadima, such accusations against Barros are “all calumny.”
“As if I could have taken a selfie or a photo while Karadima abused me and others and Juan Barros stood by watching it all,” tweeted Barros’ most vocal accuser, Juan Carlos Cruz. “These people are truly crazy, and the pontiff talks about atonement to the victims. Nothing has changed, and his plea for forgiveness is empty.”
Cruz’s complain isn’t without merit. According to the Associated Press, even the Vatican found that the complaints against Karadima were legitimate to the point where he was sentenced to a “lifetime of ‘prayer and penance'” for his crimes. A secular judge who heard the case against him couldn’t prosecute him because the statute of limitations had passed, but he said that there was indeed proof he had committed crimes.
In other words, what the hell was the pope thinking? Instead of listening to the critics, he defended a Vatican official and threw all the victims under the bus.
I’m not surprised at all. This is what I’ve come to expect from the Church. I’m not fooled by Pope Francis’ seemingly compassionate exterior. But when the guy with the best PR can’t even talk about abuse without going after the victims, maybe Catholics will finally realize they don’t have to support this corrupt organization.
(Screenshot via YouTube)