I must confess Saint Popes don’t excite me

There has been a significant amount of hoopla over beatifying two recent, long serving popes as saints. It is the first time two popes have been so honored at one time and also in front of two living popes. This may not happen again. I must confess I am not too excited about this event for a key reason. While I think Pope Francis is a wonderful new leader of a church that had lost its way and is focusing on helping those in need and the two new saints were good men, the new saints failed to do something significant that was harmful to many. To me, it is hard to call men saints when they let pedophilia of the worst kind continue unchecked under their watch when they had an awareness of its repeated occurrences.

You will note I have not mentioned their names as they are getting enough wonderful treatment for all of the good things they have done. And, they did. Yet, if you have not seen the documentary movie “Mea Maxima Culpa” I would encourage you to watch it. This movie will highlight that these popes did have an awareness of the pedophilia going on under their tutelage and failed to act to stop it. In essence, their actions showed they were more concerned about the church and priests, than the countless children who were raped time and time again. A link to a post I wrote a few months back on this movie follows: https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2013/02/10/mea-maxima-culpa-piety-does-not-trump-criminality/

I am certain pedophilia has been going on in the church for a long time, but what makes the last sixty years different, is the practice was becoming more apparent. One of the violated children from a school for the deaf in Milwaukee eventually sued the Catholic Church. In “Mea Maxima Culpa,” you learn that his repeated rape was known for ten years before the lawsuit was filed and no action was taken. When a religious figure violates his oath to serve others and harms innocent (and in this case deaf) children who do not have a loud enough voice to fight back during or after the rape, it offends me in the greatest way. I should add there is a similar school for deaf children in Italy near the Vatican, where the same kinds of atrocities occurred.

So, yes these popes did wonderful things. Yet, to call them saints, when they did not act to help many children who needed them, does not seem appropriate.


2 thoughts on “I must confess Saint Popes don’t excite me

  1. Awesome blog! I could not possibly agree more! it seems now that all a pope has to do is die, and then suddenly he is some miracle worker, and deserves sainthood. All this has done in my eyes is further cheapen the church and the sainthood realm.

    In my estimation, this act has diluted the church and pushed it even further away from mainstream life. In this day and age, we need to hearken to todays problems, and not fall back on old ideas and relics.

    And to your main point, there has not been a Pope yet, including Francis, who deserves the role while allowing this to go on and not taking action to stop it, and make restitution to its victims. The church continues to attack its victims in court and to harass them on the outside, all the while defending and hiding guilty priests.

    I have hopes for Francis and his future, but its time to stop talking and actually do something. Time will tell.

    • Thanks Barney. When I first heard the idea, I kept saying why? I also kept thinking of the kids still alive who were raped by priests. To see the leaders beatified has to destroy what little faith the victims had left and tell them they do not matter.

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