(Rome) What does Pope Francis mean in the sexual abuse of minors by priests: zero tolerance or double standards?
Cardinal Gerhard Mueller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith, called for a clear line in an interview published yesterday by La Repubblica: "Zero tolerance for pedophile priests. The bishops are to force them to self-report. "
Only the day before, Nicole Winfield, associate press correspondent from the Vatican, reported that Pope Francis, on the other hand, had a double standard in the matter of pedophile priests.
Officially zero tolerance, in fact "the exact opposite"?
Officially "zero tolerance" is demanded and thus spread by the media. "Quite apart from the radar, things are diametrically opposed," says Secretum meum mihi. Whoever among the pederasts has "friends" among the Roman Curia, who are close to the Pope, has good prospects to get off easily.
The key to the two dimensions that Pope Francis uses is "mercy." In this context, Nicole Winfield refers to the dismissal of Cardinal Müller's three close associates at the CDF. Two of these were directly concerned with the cases of pedophile priests and their punishment. An accident? If one follows the statements of Winfield, then not.
According to the Vatican, Pope Francis "quietly reduced the punishments against a number of priests" who had been condemned by the Congregation for Religious responsible for serious offenses for the sexual abuse of minors. The Pope turned to "his vision of a merciful Church," according to Winfield.
"Don Mercedes" and the friends of the pope
The correspondent mentions the case of Don Mercedes. The Italian priest had been found guilty by the Congregation of Doctrine and the Faith, but had been pardoned by Pope Francis. Don Mercedes, aka Mauro Inzoli, found a new young victim in this way, and was now condemned by an Italian criminal court. As AP reported, a new Church law procedure is already pending against Don Mercedes.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith considered the suspension of his priesthood. He should be condemned to a life of repentance, prayer, and silence and no longer be allowed to exercise his priesthood. Don Mercedes, however, had good relations with the Roman Curia, those who were close to the Pope.
Pope Francis is known to persecute opponents, but not to let friends fall, nor the friends of his friends. Under Pope Benedict XVI, there was actual zero tolerance. Between 2005 and 2013, 800 priests were sentenced and deprived of their ministry. Petitions for pardon were only granted in the rarest cases and after careful examination.
Were Dismissed Figures in the Congregation in the Way?
Winfield cited the removal of the three members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, two of whom had to return to their home diocese at the end of 2016, who were directly linked to the sanctions against pedophile priests. The employees were directly involved in the prosecution of pedophile priests. Was the "zero tolerance" undermined by their removal because they were not receptive to "friendships"? Their dismissal had been ordered directly by Pope Francis. Cardinal Müller tried to defend them against it. The Pope told him Directly: Who has the say! The third dismissed must vacate his Office as of 31 March.
Pope John Paul II was criticized for being too slow in the prosecution of pedophile priests. However, it was at that time the necessary sensitivity for the subject arose. Today, the Church is a pioneer among all institutions in the fight against sexual abuse. Pope Benedict XVI, who was serious about zero tolerance, was nevertheless heavily beaten by mainstream media. Towards the end of his term, church-factional groups wanted to drag him to an international court because of pedophile priests. At the same time, the Church under his leadership made serious, more than any secular association, than left-wing experimental education projects and secular sports clubs have shown. Even then, observers spoke of a mere pretext for damaging a displeased pope.
This presumption seems to be a new affirmation: Pope Francis, who, in contrast to his two predecessors, who appears to have a double standard, has so far been treated with velvet gloves in the case of pedophile priests.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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