Pope Francis has issued a statement that the
asks for forgiveness for children abused by members of the clergy.
"Forgiveness" for Catholics can mean something very different to a
secular apology; it is connected to the Sacrament of Confession and it refers
to the unconditional divine dismissal of all sin. With God's forgiveness it therefore
means that the emotional impact and consequences from malevolent action are annihilated.
I did wonder whether that is what "His Holiness" meant at first;
however it seems that this is an apology in the lay sense. He also defended the
Roman Catholic Church's record on dealing with child abuse. This is
preposterous in my view; and it calls into question the sincerity of his
apology. It should never take two thousand years for anybody to react to
something so blatantly obvious. This apology was issued reluctantly and is simply a testimony to the rising power
of dissenting voices and the anger of ignored victims, and we should take heart
from that. However there is a long way to go. The true crimes of the church are
far more extensive even than the endemic acceptance of rape and paedophilia.
There's the Vatican's
aiding and abetting the Nazis and other oppressive regimes, its embezzlement of
an incalculable amount of stolen wealth. Also its genocide, and attempted
genocide, of many peoples, cultures and other religions around the world
through various methods including killing children, as Kevin Annett has shown,
We are hampered somewhat because we have recently been given a new pope. Pope Francis
comes from a humble background in Argentina
and is the first ever Jesuit pope... correction: the first openly Jesuit pope. The last pope, Benedict XVI looked like Emperor
Palpatine from Star Wars; it helps us
to have a pope who actually looks as evil as popes invariably are, see: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-pope-quits.html.
We must not let Francis' "nice guy image" put us off our guard. He
would never have been selected for the throne of the Vatican
unless he was completely loyal and would protect the Church at all costs. Also,
if St Malachi is correct, Pope Francis will be the last one ever. Hope so!