It’s okay for Pope Francis to look more deeply into the causes of the sexual abuse scandal in Chile, but it will take centuries to produce meaningful change, one outrage at a time. If however, the plan is to claim they only now realize the scope of the issue, then it is the only way to address the issue without exposing decades, if not centuries, of complicity.
While it appears Pope Francis wants to address the issue of sexual abuse of children in the Catholic Church, he is attempting to do it without causing (any additional) harm to the Church’s reputation. This is a plan to merely weather the storm, not to actually make things right. Given the depth and breadth of the problem, it’s doomed to failure.
A secretive, elite hierarchy, amassing wealth, power and influence over vast populations of devoted followers, like the Roman Catholic Church has been doing for millennia, cannot suddenly start honestly self-policing. Yet the attempt to do just that reveals the true goal, the preservation of said wealth, power and influence, and at the cost of abandoning principles the Church was founded to promote in the world.
Those having done research into this issue must have stopped trusting the Church long ago. With every new day come new revelations making it harder for even the most faithful to continue believing its propaganda. Francis must realize the Church just makes their situation worse by continuing to cover up the cover-ups.
There are some slogans in 12 Step recovery that are made for the choices the Church faces now.
“You can’t save your butt and your face at the same time!” | “Whatever you put before your recovery you will ultimately lose anyway.” | “To get out of the hole you are in, first stop digging.” | “Surrender to win.”
Francis could indeed be the one who resets the Church’s moral authority but not unless/until he is able to “surrender to win”. He must bite the bullet and guide the Church to stop fighting this losing battle. A good start would be to direct his Bishops to:
- Stop lobbying against statute of limitations reforms.
- Cooperate with law enforcement.
- Not block Grand Jury reports.
- Turn over their “Secret Archives”
- Stop hiding/hoarding wealth for a rainy day and realize the storm is upon them.
Another apt slogan from recovery goes “It’s simple, not easy!” Overcoming 2000 years of entrenched defenses is not an easy task. As political as the Catholic Church has become it could be extremely hazardous for the papacy of Francis to even attempt such reforms. Only time will tell if he is the man for this season.