Vatican Corner 07-30-18

(… continued) At the morning Mass on Sept. 3, 2018, Pope Francis ’ used his homily to say that the answer to division and scandal should be silence and prayer, and ask the Lord for the grace to discern when it is better to remain quiet “ with people who do not have good will, with people who seek only scandal, who seek only division, who seek only destruction, even within families, ” the answer is “ silence and prayer. ” This statement may have been an explanation for the Pope ’ s response when he said “ I will not say a single word ” a+er hearing of Archbishop Vigano ’ s allegations. On Sept. 10 – 12 Pope Francis met with his Council of Cardinal Advisors, known as C9, and afterwards decided to call for the presidents of every Catholic bishop ’ s conference in the world to Rome on February 21 – 24, 2019 to discuss the prevention of the abuse of minors and vulnerable adults. The Pope ’ s council released a statement saying that they were aware that the Holy See “ is formulating the eventual and necessary clarifications ” to the grave allegations Archbishop Viganó made in August. The Archbishop Viganó had accused the Pope of covering up the abuses committed by the former Washington Cardinal McCarrick, and of lifting sanctions. Viganó also accused many past Vatican officials of the same cover – up, and he called for Francis ’ resignation. In all this turmoil it should not be forgotten that it was Pope Francis in July of 2018 who accepted the resignation of Cardinal McCarrick from the College of Cardinals, itself a historic event, and at the same time ordered McCarrick to live a life of prayer and penance pending the outcome of a “ canonical process. ” Canon lawyers have noted that this seems to be the imposition of a legal penalty before the legal process. So far no clarification statement has been issued nor has there been any announcement about what kind of process will be used to resolve the McCarrick case. Three of the nine members of the Popes Council of Advisors were not present at the September meeting. Two of them have abuse trouble of their own. Retired Archbishop Ossa of Chile is facing judicial questioning over his handling of abuse allegations, and Cardinal Pell of Australia is facing two trials of sexual abuse himself. A+er the September 13 meeting bet ween Pope Francis and the delegation from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Conference released a statement of adoption of 4 specific measures as a first step in addressing the crisis of sexual abuse in the Church. 1. Start a third – party reporting system to receive complaints about bishops regarding sexual abuse of minors, or sexual misconduct with adults. 2. Develop policies addressing restrictions on bishops who were removed or resigned because of sexual abuse and misconduct allegations. 3. Develop a Code of Conduct for bishops regarding sexual abuse or misconduct. 4. Support a full investigation into the allegations against former Cardinal McCarrick and rely on lay experts such as law enforcement and social services. The statement from the US. Bishops said they are “ acting in communion with the Holy Father. ” “ May the Holy Spirit grant us the grace of conversion and the interior anointing needed to express before these crimes of abuse our compunction and our resolve courageously to combat them ”.