Blog note. Slick. Very, very slick. The Pope is offering a “bureaucratic” solution to this problem. More rules, processes, oversight, transparency, promises and statements to correct men’s hearts. This is his approach to all worldly problems. This didn’t work before. It won’t work again. Once again, the focus of the Church and the Pope is to heal itself, say appropriate words and move on. As is the usual case, the major focus is on “fixing” what went wrong and not on helping who got hurt. At first, I thought this was actually one of the first times that I agreed with something that Francis was doing. I was tempted into thinking that he is doing the right thing. However, I was wrong. Only Christ can change men’s hearts, not a systemic or bureaucratic slight-of-hand. After all, it was the “system” that allowed this sexual abuse corruption to spread like the wildfires in California, British Columbia, Siberia, Greece, Sweden and elsewhere this world. The wolves in sheep clothing deny the power of Christ. Wow! The Pope openly admits that the Catholic Church has a culture of death. (His words, not mine – read below). I thought the true church of Christ is supposed to show and shine the gospel, the good news of Jesus Christ to a dark world. We are supposed to be lights in a dark world. How is it that the leader of the largest “Christian” church in the world refers to “his” church as pushing the darkness of death into the world through its culture? After all, he repeatedly states that he comes in his own name, and not that of Christ’s name. Did they ever really know Jesus Christ? Does the Pope really know Christ? Who is running this church, Christ or “someone else?” No one can heal these evil men’s hearts except Christ. Not you, not me, not the Pope, no bureaucratic process, edict or statement. No amount of billions of dollars thrown at the problem will solve it.
What about the abused children over the decades? How can they be healed? Once again, the answer is Christ. He can reach deep into their souls and heal them, if they let him in as adults. What does the Bible say about the harming of children, the “little one’s?”
Matthew 19:13 … Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
*Matthew 19:14 … But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.
*Mark 10:14 … But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
*Luke 18:16 … But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
*Matthew 18:6 … But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
*Mark 9:42 … And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.
*Luke 17:2 … It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.
*The Holy Word of God repeated three times, signifies God’s divine emphasis and intensity. The context or subject that which God is referring to, is extremely important. He is emphatically and intensely making his point well known. He is adamant about the text and meaning. Do not (harm, hurt, offend or abuse) the little ones (children). Jesus also indicates that the little ones (children) are to have access to the kingdom of heaven through Him.
Who did the wolves in sheep clothing harm? The youngest and most vulnerable of us … the children. God is indicating that a form of punishment and banishment awaits the wolves who harm the little ones. Although God’s punishment or wrath may not come fast enough by our standards, it will in fact come in God’s due time. Implied in the three verses is that it would be better for men to hide themselves in the oceans’ depths, than to face to gaze of judgement and righteousness of Christ at the white throne judgement. “But that is so far away”, you say. From our perspective, yes. From God’s perspective, no. A thousand years is a tomorrow to Him.
Revelation 6:15-17. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Once again, men are so terrified by the gaze, glory and wrath of the Lamb, that they beg the rocks to fall on them and hide them. They would rather be dead than face Christ’s judgement. Their sins will expose themselves and be brought out into the light. The same can be said for the wolves in the Catholic Church who abused the youngest children among us.
The “Church” has historically played “where is the ball now under the three cups game” as a form of punishment. Push the sin under different rocks so it is hidden. Transfer the problem in the hopes it won’t happen again. After all, the “Church” is “suffering” a shortage of priests and they need all available “hands-on-deck”. This doesn’t even count as a slap on the wrist.
O.K., let’s go with “secular law”. Maybe that form of punishment will be best for the wolves in sheep clothing. Ruh-Roh! Statute of Limitations … darn. A few wolves will be caught and embarrassed. Most will evade punishment via secular law efforts. We all know that. Will the statute of limitations law(s) be amended or reformed as a result of this obscene activity? Only God knows. What about the old wolves that are already dead. God knows who they are and has accounted for their activities. Only Christ knows if they accepted his offer of salvation.
What’s left available for punishment? As usual the Bible tells us. Man’s laws and punishments don’t work. God’s law (in the form of Jesus Christ) and judgement in the form of the white throne judgement, would suggest that many (most?) of these wolves in sheep clothing can look forward to eternal punishment in the form of the second death, or the lake of fire and brimstone. If the abused knew this, would it console them? I don’t know. Christ knows. Jesus Christ can provide the abused little ones with the spirit of forgiveness and healing to overcome the rage, anger and perhaps hate directed at those who abused them.
Where am I going with all of this? Obviously, I want to stress (along with everyone else) how wrong and evil all of these behaviors are. The wolves matter-of-factly harmed, hurt and injured the little ones, the children. I wanted to demonstrate how the Pope’s solutions will not solve the problem, but most likely continue to perpetuate it regardless of what he says or edicts. Isn’t that the goal of Satan, perpetuation of evil? Francis’ words sound good, but they are hollow and are incapable of changing men’s hearts. I wanted to use God’s word from the bible to illustrate what he says about these wolves in sheep’s clothing. God’s judgement and wrath, via his Son, Jesus Christ is more eternal and intense than anything mankind (church or secular law) can dish out. There will be no slap-on-the-wrists, no transfer of a priest/bishop/cardinal to reside under another dome (cup). There is no purgatory so they can get straightened out later. Christ came so that a change in men’s hearts could happen while they were alive. There is no second chance. Money is not the solution. “Reform” of the church’s processes, tribunals, bureaucracy, system and doctrines is not the solution. What is the solution? Christ is the solution, for both the wolves and the little ones. The wolves need to be convicted of their sin in Christ. The little ones need to be healed through the love of Christ. Mankind can’t do this. Secular agencies can’t do this. Money can’t do this. The Pope can’t do this. Only Christ can do this. End of note.
Pope vows no more cover ups on sexual abuse in letter to Catholics
Philip Pullella. Reuters. August 20, 2018.
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – Pope Francis, facing sexual abuse crises in several countries, wrote an unprecedented letter to all Catholics on Monday, asking each one of them to help root out “this culture of death” and vowing there would be no more cover ups.
In a highly personal letter addressed to “the people of God,” Church language for all members, the pope appeared to be launching an appeal for all Catholics to face the crisis together and not let it tear the Church apart.
The Catholic Church in the United States, Chile, Australia, and Ireland – where the pope is making a two-day visit this weekend – are reeling from crises involving sexual abuse of minors. Numerous surveys have pointed to plummeting confidence in the Church in those countries and elsewhere.
In his letter, the pope referred to the suffering endured by minors due to sexual abuse at the hands of a “significant number of clerics and consecrated persons.”
The Vatican said it was the first time a pope had written to all of the world’s some 1.2 billion Catholics about sexual abuse. Past letters on sexual abuse scandals have been addressed to bishops and faithful of individual countries.
“We have realized that these wounds never disappear and that they require us forcefully to condemn these atrocities and join forces in uprooting this culture of death,” he said.
Quoting a Gospel passage that says “If one member suffers, all suffer together,” Francis added:
“(Those words) forcefully echo in my heart as I acknowledge once more the suffering endured by many minors due to sexual abuse, the abuse of power and the abuse of conscience perpetrated by a significant number of clerics and consecrated persons.”
“With shame and repentance, we acknowledge as an ecclesial community that we were not where we should have been, that we did not act in a timely manner, realizing the magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives. We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them,” Francis wrote.
Advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse expressed disappointment. “More actions, less words,” said Anne Barrett-Doyle, co-director of BishopAccountability.org, a U.S.-based resource center that tracks cases of clerical abuse worldwide.
“He needs an effective discipline process for bishops and religious superiors who are known to have enabled abuse,” she said.
Last week a grand jury in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania released the findings of the largest-ever investigation of sex abuse in the U.S. Catholic Church, finding that 301 priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.
CRYING OUT TO HEAVEN
He acknowledged that “the heart-wrenching pain of these victims, which cries out to heaven, was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced”.
“Looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening, but also to prevent the possibility of their being covered up and perpetuated,” he said.
He also acknowledged that the implementation of a zero tolerance had been “delayed” in some places.
Victims groups have said that while new policies have been put into place in several countries to alert civil authorities about cases of abuse, the pope still needed to do more to hold accountable bishops who covered it up, mostly by moving priests from parish to parish.
In his first direct response to the U.S. grand jury report, Francis said that while most cases it listed “belong to the past,” it was clear that the abuse cited “was long ignored, kept quiet or silenced”.
Last month, Theodore McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., and one of the U.S. Church’s most prominent figures, stepped down as a cardinal after accusations that he abused two minors about 50 years ago and later abused adult seminarians.
He was believed to be the first cardinal to lose his red hat in nearly a century and the first ever for alleged sexual abuse.
In May, all 34 of Chile’s bishops offered their resignation to the pope over a widening sexual abuse crisis there. He has so far accepted five of the resignations.
Additional reporting by Padraic Halpin in Dublin, editing by Steve Scherer, Richard Balmforth