Pope Francis calls for ‘truth’ in case of former ambassador accused of abuse

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Jozef Wesolowski is pictured during a 2011 ceremony in Santo Domingo when he was still an archbishop and was serving as nuncio to the Dominican Republic. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found the archbishop guilty of sexual abuse of minors and has ordered that he be laicized.

Jozef Wesolowski is pictured during a 2011 ceremony in Santo Domingo when he was still an archbishop and was serving as nuncio to the Dominican Republic. The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith found the archbishop guilty of sexual abuse of minors and has ordered that he be laicized.

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VATICAN CITY (RNS) Former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski is the most senior Catholic official to be convicted by a Vatican body of sexually abusing minors.

  • You just gotta love the Vatican. Even after they convict this creep of unspecified crimes, they somehow can’t — or won’t — summon the courage actually to punish him. After his conviction he was on house arrest, but then they went and “lifted” that (aka “let him go wherever he wants”) because of “health concerns.”

    There are reasons the Church refuses to treat sociopath clerics like the sociopaths they are. Among them is an ecclesiastical conflict that began in the 4th century … the Donatist controversy. For the Church to admit that any priest might have said or done something that disqualifies him from being a priest, would amount to an admission that the heretic Donatus had been right about lapsed clergy; i.e. he’d claimed priests who’d surrendered to Rome & betrayed the Church during the c. 18 months or so of Diocletian’s persecution of Christianity were ineligible to continue in office. Most of the rest of the Church disagreed, and took back all the lapsed clergy. And ever since, they’ve been working hard to keep showing they were right and Donatus was wrong.

    Its fierce opposition to anything and everything that could so much as hint at heresy, has essentially painted the Church into a corner. Well done, guys. Well done! I’m sure you’re just all so proud of yourselves!

  • Ben in Oakland

    None of this is new, It’s just the same old story. The Child molestation problem in the church is an ancient one. It’s in Chaucer and Boccaccio.

    Before that, there were the works of St. Peter Damian. Quoting from one article on him: “As a child in Ravenna, Italy, Peter Damian lost both of his parents. His medieval biographer claimed that he spent time with an abusive older brother before another brother, who was archpriest of Ravenna, took him in and saw to his education. In the diocesan cathedral school he attended, Damian became increasingly scandalized by the behavior of both students and professors. Rather than pursue a lucrative career as a professor and cleric, he chose to enter monastic life and devoted himself to the work of reforming the church. His accomplishments eventually included the creation of the process for electing popes.
    Complaints from Damian about the church’s unwillingness to confront the sexual behavior of the clergy, however, met with inaction. In 1049 Damian wrote to Pope Leo IX (1048-54) about the cancer of sexual abuse that was spreading through the church: boys and adolescents were being forced and seduced into performing acts of sodomy by priests and bishops; there were problems with sexual harassment among higher clergy; and many members of the clergy were keeping concubines.

    Peter Damian warned the pope that bishops were contributing to the growth of the problem by their failure to enforce church discipline. Members of the clergy who sexually abused others demonstrated by their actions that they had no fear of God, Damian argued. Such men were afraid only of being despised by the people and of losing their positions; they would do anything to avoid being stripped of their clerical status and identity. Knowing that their bishop would not remove them from their office and ministry gave such men license to continue in their wickedness. Thus in failing to discipline abusive members of the clergy, the bishops stood as guilty as the men who committed the crimes.

    Convinced that it was the lack of episcopal leadership that was causing the sexual abuse scandal in his day, Damian offered this admonition:

    Listen, you do-nothing superiors of clerics and priests. Listen, and even though you feel sure of yourselves, tremble at the thought that you are partners in the guilt of others; those, I mean, who wink at the sins of their subjects that need correction and who by ill-considered silence allow them license to sin. Listen, I say, and be shrewd enough to understand that all of you alike are deserving of death, that is, not only those who do such things, but also they who approve those who practice them (Rom 1:32).

    Drawing on the model that the bishop or priest is married to the church, Damian accused both those who sexually abused the people under their care and those who allowed such abuse to take place with the crime of spiritual incest. But whereas biological parents who committed incest were subject in the Middle Ages to excommunication and exile, Damian felt that bishops who betrayed their spiritual children deserved a harsher penalty. Their betrayal ran deeper.

    Unfortunately, Pope Leo IX disagreed with Peter Damian’s analysis of the problem of clerical sexual abuse. He was willing to punish clerics who committed acts of anal intercourse with boys and adolescents, but he minimized the punishment of clerics who performed other sexual acts with children and adults of both sexes.

    Karen Liebreich wrote a great book on a similar scandal in 17th century Italy: Fallen Order. It’s scary how that which happened 400 years ago has continued to happen with virtually no significant change. And then there was the popish practice of having boys castrated to keep their soprano voices for the musical pleasure of the pope.

    Here’s the theological question: you cannot become a priest without the charisma (literally, a gift) from God of a vocation. The Church has a way of determining who has such a vocation, because many think they do, but don’t. So is God calling sexual predators to the priesthood, is he indifferent to sexual abuse and thinks it holy, or is the church just making it all up?

  • Fmr Cath

    Ben (and all the rest) Do you NOT know that God cannot be associated with uncleanness of any kind. He does not and never has been involved with the Catholic Church or any other “church” that does not follow His commands and ways. Jesus said (Matt.7:21-23) 21 “Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of the heavens, but only the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you! Get away from me, you workers of lawlessness!’
    2Corinthians 6:17- “‘Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says the Lord, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing’”; “‘and I will take you in.’”
    The Catholic Church and the rest of FALSE religion is doomed to be destroyed by God Himself… (Revelation 18:4-8) And I heard another voice out of heaven say: “Get out of her, my people, if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues. 5 For her sins have massed together clear up to heaven, and God has called her acts of injustice to mind. 6 Repay her in the way she treated others, yes, pay her back double for the things she has done; in the cup she has mixed, mix a double portion for her. 7 To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning. For she keeps saying in her heart: ‘I sit as queen, and I am not a widow, and I will never see mourning.’ 8 That is why in one day her plagues will come, DEATH and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because God, who judged her, is strong.

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