Pope Francis has come under fire after announcing that over 2,000 pedophile priests will not face criminal prosecution and may be absolved by the Vatican for their heinous crimes.
Speaking to reporters aboard the Papal plane on Saturday, Francis responded to criticism leveled at the Vatican’s handling of sex abuse cases by Marie Collins – an Irish child abuse survivor who resigned from Francis’ internal sex abuse advisory commission in March.
According to Fox News, Pope Francis acknowledged that the Vatican has a 2,000-case backlog in processing clerical sex abuse cases and says criticism of the slow pace was justified. But he says more staff are being added and insists the Vatican is ‘on the right path.’
In this instance, “on the right path” likely means “we’re going to do nothing about it.” The Church has a long and dark history of covering up pedophilia cases and protecting priests caught raping children. Earlier in May, the Vatican also come under fire for forgiving a priest who admitted to raping 30 young children, infecting them with the HIV virus.
Thefreethoughtproject.com reports: It’s safe to say, with the departure of one of the leading figures comprising the advisory board, that the Catholic church is stalling. Instead of taking down the pedophiles, and turning them over to authorities for prosecution, they’re simply content on maintaining a 2,000 case backlog.
The church’s inaction on pedophilia may signal to some critics as well as survivors of pedophile priest abuses, that the emotional development of its children is of little concern to the church, who some have said are protecting pedophiles instead of rooting them out from among their ranks.
It’s unclear if the latest revelations that the church is still doing nothing will further drive Catholic Church members into Evangelical abuse and Protestant churches, but in our opinion, doing nothing about the backlog is just as bad as pedophilia itself.
As the Free Thought Project previously reported, this scandal has long affected the Catholic church. In 2014, Pope Francis admitted that “about two percent” or 1 in 50 Roman Catholic priests are pedophiles. He then promised solutions to the history of the church essentially condoning the horrid practice. However, it appears that his solution is to sweep it under the rug.
According to a report out of the AP, 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 of the child molesting priests given clemency by the Pope was later arrested and sentenced to more than four years in jail for abusing multiple boys aged 12-16. The Rev. Mauro Inzoli is now facing a second church trial after new evidence emerged against him, according to the AP.
It is no secret that the Vatican has been sweeping the issue of pedophilia under the rug for many years. In 2014, the UN issued a scathing report, blasting the Vatican for protecting pedophiles.
The U.N. committee’s main human rights investigator, Sara Oviedo, led the most intense grilling the Holy See has received on the issue, according to a report by The Associated Press.
Given the “zero tolerance” policy of the Vatican, she asked, why were there “efforts to cover up and obscure these types of cases?”
Another committee member, psychologist Maria Rita Parsi, added: “If these events continue to be hidden and covered up, to what extent will children be affected?”
One such event that was covered up by the Vatican and the Western media at large was the reverend Gino Flaim, who claimed to “understand pedophilia” and said it’s caused by the child’s attempt to find affection.
He told Italy’s La7 television channel, “I’ve been to lots of schools, and I know children. Unfortunately, there are children who seek affection because they don’t receive it at home and I understand that some priests can give up. Pedophilia is a sin, and like all sins has to be accepted.”
When the interviewer asked Flaim, “So, you actually mean that most of the time it’s because of the kid’s fault?”
Flaim responded by saying, “Yes, most of the time.”
After condoning pedophilia and blaming it on the child, this holy man went on to bash homosexuality, calling it a “disease.”
Many canon lawyers and church authorities argue that defrocking pedophiles can put society at greater risk because the church no longer exerts any control over them. They argue that keeping the men in restricted ministry, away from children, at least enables superiors to exert some degree of supervision.
However, as the case of Rev. Mauro Inzoli illustrates, these people need to be locked up.
In November, an Italian criminal judge showed little mercy in convicting Inzoli of abusing five children, aged 12-16, and sentencing him to four years, nine months in prison. The judge said Inzoli had a number of other victims but their cases fell outside the statute of limitations, according to the AP.
With pedophilia scandals rocking the elite right now, is it that surprising to learn that the Pope is attempting to downplay the church’s role in the horrific practice?
As the AP reports, 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.