Pope Francis is actively recruiting the worst offenders and deniers to be part of his inner circle. This cannot be attributed to ignorance or not knowing what is happening. It’s deliberate. Why? At the very least, it is self-destructive. And it must be asked, why are they going to such enormous lengths to cover-up, lie, evade, and stonewall?
You might remember Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Honduras. Back in 2002, he said that Jews were partly responsible for the bad press the Catholic Church in the US was getting over priests raping children and the media covering it up.
More recently, Edward Pentin of National Catholic Register reported that Maradiaga’s seminary in Honduras was more or less a gay bathhouse, and that the cardinal’s auxiliary was having sex with seminarians. The auxiliary resigned, but the cardinal furiously denied the report — despite a complaint signed by scores of heterosexual seminarians — and compared Pentin to an assassin.
Now comes news that Maradiaga, chosen by Francis to be part of his nine-member inner circle of advisers, is saying that people ought to leave Uncle Ted McCarrick alone.
Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, explains why he left the Catholic Church. It was the cover-up. A seemingly pointless and futile cover-up, especially now since the truth is already out. Yet the cover-up and stonewalling continues. It’s like they are hiding something else, perhaps financial crimes aided and abetted by clergy being blackmailed over their sexual activities. Or perhaps the financial crimes (The Vatican Bank has been corrupt for decades) is just part of the ongoing corruption and a privileged clergy class protecting itself.
It wasn’t the pedophile priests that did in my faith. It was the bishops who protected them. That is, the men who ran the system were so morally and spiritually corrupt that in most cases they went out of their way to protect pedophile priests at the expense of children and their families.
And because this scandal is about power, the Church’s leadership cannot forget that the crisis occurs in an age of radical individualism, which is to say, radical democracy. As a cultural and psychological matter, people do not feel bound to remain under the authority of a hierarchy they deem corrupt or in any way unacceptable.