Pope Francis: No “Joy of Love” for Abused Children, Women or LGBTQ People

By Betty Clermont
Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody
April 10, 2016

The pope’s “apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (Latin for Joy of Love) On Love in the Family” was presented on Friday. The document is more than 60,000 words.   Jesus spoke 2026 words in Gospels and the four Gospels combined are 64,766 words.  The pontiff stated his own conclusions based on two synods (meetings) of bishops from around the world held in October 2014 and October 2015. Both were closed to the public and the press.

In his exhortation, Pope Francis urged that his prelates and priests be more “welcoming” to those who are in what the Church refers to as “irregular” unions – that is not married by a priest. He changed no doctrine. Due to the “invincible ambiguity that characterizes the pronouncements of Pope Francis … anyone will be able to dig out from among the 200 pages of the document the passage that he likes most, and act accordingly,” wrote veteran Vatican reporter, Sandro Magister.  Another Vatican insider: “the pope’s studied ambiguity [leads] each to find something in the pope’s text to back up his thesis.”  Another experienced Vatican reporter, John L. Allen Jr., stated the document “changes little on the ground.”

For example, Pope Francis recently extended the Holy Thursday foot-washing ritual to include women which was already being done for decades if the pastor approved. The pope’s appointed prefect in charge of liturgy announced soon after Pope Francis’ statement that no priest was obligated to include women.

Disregarding the suffering and deaths in families caused by Catholic officials, both synods concentrated on the question of whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics should be allowed to receive communion, an issue left unsettled by the pope in “Joy of Love.” According to New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, most divorced Catholics who ignore their Church’s imperative that they must obtain an annulment before remarrying have either left the Church or receive communion anyway. The comparatively few who broke the remarriage prohibition yet obey the communion rule have learned to live with it.

Pope Francis Can, but Won’t, Prevent Further Child Sex Abuse

Within the first six months of his pontificate, Pope Francis found the allegations of child sex abuse by two of his bishops credible enough to secretly dismiss them from their positions without notifying the civil authorities or the public.

Bishop Gabino Miranda Melgarejo of Ayacucho, a poor Andean region in southern Peru, is still at large as best as I can tell.

Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, the pope’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic, accused of oral sex abuse of poor street boys, remained a free man for over a year during which time he acquired more than 100,000 computer files of pornography with disturbing photos of children who were likely victims of human trafficking. The Italian newspaper, Il Corriere della Serra, reported that Wesolowski was not brought inside the Vatican until “there was a serious risk that the ambassador would be arrested on Italian territory at the request of the Dominican authorities and then extradited.” Wesolowski died mysteriously just before a Vatican trial would have brought the above facts  to public attention.

Other than meeting with a handful of his Church’s more than 100,000 sex abuse victims, Pope Francis has done nothing to console the survivors or prevent the sexual assault of thousands of children in the future. The commission he formed in response  to rare media criticism in December 2013, dismissed the only member who expressed any criticism. The pope still hasn’t provided adequate funding for the commission.

During the in-flight interview from Mexico back to Rome on Feb. 16, Pope Francis said that a bishop who moves a pedophile priest to another parish should resign. Since then, a French cardinal and Italian bishop said this meant that they were under no obligation to report the clerical child sex abuse which happened under their watch to civilian authorities. Under Pope Francis’ leadership, pedophile priests are still being moved from the United States and Europe to less-developed countries.

By his most recent remarks, Pope Francis signaled his prelates around the world that he would continue to do nothing to prevent them from, or hold them accountable for, aiding, abetting and covering-up these crimes and then persecuting the victims and families.

This was the sickening and systemic pattern revealed not only by the movie, Spotlight, but also by grand jury reports in Philadelphia, Westchester County and Suffolk County (NY) and attorney general reports in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. The Pennsylvania Attorney General released a grand jury report on March 1 2016, on an investigation of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese showing the same appalling tactics as the prior reports.

All stated that revising the statutes-of-limitations would be the most effective way to prevent future child sex abuse because many victims do not speak up until later in life, citing shame or fear, to expose their tormentors.

When Pope Francis was in the US in September, he praised his bishops for their “courage” in handling the scandal, and consoled them for how stressful it had been.  The pope ignored “the litigation and legislative tactics of his bishops” which have denied all American victims of child sex abuse access to justice. “It is the bishops who have blocked any kind of meaningful reform,” said Marci Hamilton, a professor at the Cardozo School of Law in New York who studies statutes of limitations. “The bishops and the pope have a lot of explaining to do as to why it would be in their mission to keep all of these victims from seeking justice.”

Pope Francis Can, but Won’t, Stop Women’s Suffering and Deaths

“The exhortation is a gesture demonstrating Pope Francis’s determination to keep the Catholic Church aligned with the dominance of men over women and the dominance of heterosexual human beings over homosexual ones,” wrote Catholic theologian, William Lindsay. He quotes Barbie Latza Nadeau:

“Starting with a section called ‘You and Your Wife,’ which is not followed by one called ‘You and Your Husband,’ Francis struggles with the complicated role of women in the modern family, and in fact his document leaves no room for what most of us understand by equality of the sexes. Nor does it quote any women on the matter.” And then, of course, Francis goes on to exhort women to be mothers – the role for which God has designed them, which is inscribed in their bodies. Be maternal. Complement the men in your life with joyful, humble submission to the role God has written in your nature.”

“Abortion is to throw someone out in order to save another. That’s what the Mafia does,” Pope Francis said during the same Feb. 16 in-flight interview – no exceptions to save the life of the mother, in cases of rape or incest, or no matter the fetal abnormality.

In his much-touted encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si,  Pope Francis asked,  “How can we genuinely teach the importance of concern for other vulnerable beings, however troublesome or inconvenient they may be, if we fail to protect a human embryo, even when its presence is uncomfortable and creates difficulties?”

On the topic of birth control in Laudato Si: “Instead of resolving the problems of the poor and thinking of how the world can be different, some can only propose a reduction in the birth rate,” the pope wrote. “Overpopulation is the main driver of climate change, ill health and conflict,” stated the British Medical Journal.

Pope Francis also denounced international organizations for making economic assistance to developing countries “contingent on certain policies of ‘reproductive health.’”

The majority of the 47,000 women who die from complications of unsafe abortions each year live in Latin America and sub-Sahara Africa.

In El Salvador, 95 percent of the more than 6,000 abortions every year are considered unsafe … El Salvador’s total ban on abortion is killing women and girls, forcing them to undergo dangerous backstreet abortions and landing them in jail, rights group Amnesty International said … The widespread lack of equal rights for women and the powerful influence of the Roman Catholic Church, which says the law must protect the rights of an unborn child at all costs, are factors behind the country’s rigid abortion laws.

African bishops “aspire to a leadership role across the continent, in politics, in conflict resolution, in environmental protection – basically in everything.”

On April 3, Polish bishops called for a full ban on all abortions. Currently, Poland allows some abortions but has one of the most restrictive laws in the European Union. “The conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party, which came to power in October, plans to tighten regulations to bring them into line with the Catholic Church’s teachings.”

During his visit in the US, Pope Francis met with the Little Sisters of the Poor who brought their suit against Obamacare’s mandated insurance coverage for contraceptives all the way to the Supreme Court.  (The case is still unsettled. The “Zubik” in the official case name, Zubik v Burwell, is Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik.)

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores the Supreme Court directly struck down the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act for closely held for-profit corporations. Two years ago, Pope Francis granted a private meeting to Steve Green, billionaire owner of Hobby Lobby during which pope “asked how the Supreme Court case was progressing.”

Yes, the pope meets with all kinds of people, but except for Pres. Obama, he has never met in private with any US Democrat. The recent invitation to Sen. Sanders to attend a Vatican conference was issued by Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, the chancellor of the Pontifical Academy of Social Science, not by Pope Francis. Sanchez Sorondo declined to say who initiated the contacts.

This pontificate has the most savvy PR team ever assembled in the Church, like former Fox News correspondent, Greg Burke, and other connections to Rupert Murdoch.  In addition to the corporate media, they pander to millennials and progressives through social media, the same demographics who comprise Sanders’ base of support and the same demographics continually propagandized by the Vatican. Sanders is wrong on his assessment of Pope Francis because the pope packed the Vatican with vulture capitalists.

The Church was silent when a Republican governor enacted Romneycare which covered abortions. But as of October 2015, at enormous taxpayer expense, over 100 lawsuits had been filed in federal courts challenging the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit.  The vast majority were brought by Catholic bishops and their affiliated institutions.

Inspired by their pontiff, the Catholic bishops’ and their proxies continue, with seemingly unlimited funding, to deny all American women access to reproductive health services.

  • April 2: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) urged support in the House of Representatives for the proposed Conscience Protection Act, HR 4828, which would protect healthcare providers who oppose abortion. “They charged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has already shown favor for grant-seeking health care providers who are open to providing human trafficking victims with abortions.”

    In 2011, the USCCB was denied an HHS grant for aiding victims of sex trafficking because the bishops weren’t willing to provide full gynecological services such as family planning, contraception and abortion. Since 2006, USCCB has received more than $2.5 million annually in grants from HHS. More than $650 million has gone from HHS to Catholic groups — primarily Catholic charities and USCCB — in the last three years. This is $100 million more than what went to Catholic groups in the last three years of the Bush administration.

  • March 31: Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, a physician and advisory board member with The Catholic Association, denounced the US Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion drug Mifeprex which may be used up to 10 weeks into pregnancy. .
  • February 2: The bishops’ lobbyists, the Catholic Conference of Kentucky, worked for the passage  of a law requiring women seeking abortions to wait 24 hours after being told of medical risks and benefits.
  • February 2: The USCCB and their lobbyists, the Texas Catholic Conference, filed a friend of the court brief  with the US Supreme Court in support of “a deceptive Texas law designed to shut down more than 75 percent of all women’s health clinics that provide abortion services in the state.”

Pope Francis Can, but Won’t, Support LGBTQ Families

More from the brilliant Dr. Lindsey on the pope’s exhortation:

Mercy will be mercy as [Pope Francis and his Church] define and dispense it. It will comprise their “right” to tag me as inferior, deny me an income and healthcare coverage, deny me job security in the institutions they control, deny me basic human rights – even as they tell the world that their behavior exemplifies mercy and attests to their commitment to human rights.

On April 1, Pope Francis met with the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) superior general, Bishop Bernard Fellay, in private. The SSPX is a priestly society which currently has no canonical status in the Church ever since its founder, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, ordained bishops without the consent of Pope John Paul II.

Hard-core, anti-Semitic” is how the Southern Poverty Law Center described the SSPX and the Simon Wiesenthal Center named SSPX as influential within the French far-right, anti-Semitic party.

According to a Spiegel article:

The SSPX is becoming increasingly powerful despite the controversy and is attracting more and more supporters. The Catholic brothers in Stuttgart showed their aggressive side against gays by staging a protest against the city’s Christopher Street Day parade, which celebrates gay pride. The priests held up signs that read “Save Children from Perversion,” and one of them condemned the event as “moral pollution.”

Yet Pope Francis initiated a process of “full reconciliation”  with the SSPX in 2013.

After meeting in private with Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, and giving her rosaries,  Pope Francis specifically stated that “conscientious objection” by “government employees”  is a “human right.” This pope never used this terminology before or since.

Together with his visit to the Little Sisters of the Poor, “the Davis encounter means Francis has expressed personal support to the leading symbols of the two most contentious fronts in America’s religious freedom debates – the contraception mandates imposed by the Obama administration, and conscientious objection on gay marriage.” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia stated, “It was really good to know that Francis stands with us on this very important issue.”

The current Vatican ambassador in Washington DC, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, passed his 75th birthday – the mandatory retirement age of hierarchs – in January. Veteran Vatican reporter, Sandro Magister, broke the story March 10 that Viganò’s replacement had been chosen. Two other reputable Vatican reporters passed it along. None mentioned the private meeting between Pope Francis and Kim Davis.

Magister wrote that the pope “has in mind” a change in the US episcopate citing Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich as an example. In Oct. 2015, Cupich removed a “high profile priest” from ministry for having an “inappropriate relationship” with an adult man. In Nov. 2015, an employee of a Catholic church in the Chicago Archdiocese filed a complaint saying he was fired after he got married to his male partner.  The case is similar to that of a music director at another Chicago church who said he was let go after announcing his engagement on Facebook.

After meeting with Davis, the pope returned to Rome to open the 2015 Synod of the Family by stating, “This is God’s dream for his beloved creation: to see it fulfilled in the loving union between a man and a woman.”

The day before, Monsignor Kryzstof Charamsa, a priest with a “high-profile role in the Vatican” who came out as gay, was fired.  He criticized the pope’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for spreading “pervasive and blind homophobia.”

A year ago, Pope Francis refused to accept France’s new ambassador to the Holy See, an openly gay veteran diplomat.

Yes, the pope meets a lot of people but he has never met in private with an advocate for LGBT human rights.

What Pope Francis can do but won’t, is change the Catechism which states that homosexual acts are a “grave depravity.”  Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger – then head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, later Pope Benedict XVI – added in 1997 that even the homosexual “inclination” is “objectively disordered.”

So Pope Francis can change this anytime he wants, but he won’t. He can state unequivocally that he supports the human right of same-sex couples to marry and adopt children but he doesn’t. And so, his Church can continue to directly abuse LGBT persons.

  • His African bishops can continue to support the type of anti-gay legislation which “represents an ongoing, defacto genocide of the LGBT community in Uganda.”
  • In the Dominican Republic, the cardinal primate is currently “waging a vitriolic and unrelenting campaign of hate” against the openly gay US Ambassador Wally Brewster to have him removed. “Three times in the last months the cardinal has referred to the ambassador as ‘the little faggot.’”

In just the past month:

  • “The Virginia Catholic Conference is deeply dismayed by the governor’s action,” the conference said March 30. “The veto of a religious freedom bill [allowing discrimination against LGBT persons] means faith-based groups that support marriage as a union of a man and a woman won’t have needed protections, the state’s Catholic bishops said”
  • A Catholic bishop told the Alaska House Judiciary Committee that he reversed “a 75-year-old policy of allowing people of other faiths to get married in one of its landmark chapels after same-sex marriage became legal … Bishop Edward Burns testified that the new policy applies to other popular Catholic-owned wedding destinations and will continue unless the Legislature passes a bill that would exempt clergy from civil or criminal liability for refusing to perform marriages for same-sex couples.”
  • Catholic Charities of the Charlotte Diocese cancelled a gay singer’s performance at their “Gala for Hope” after the group learned of her same-sex marriage.
  • A Missouri court ruled in favor of a Catholic diocese terminating employment of a director for social ministries who was in a same-sex marriage. Jeremiah Galus, legal counsel with Alliance Defending Freedom, applauded the decision.
  • A Rhode Island Catholic high school issued a handbook stating that the school does not accept transgender students because it is “unable to make accommodations.”

The “Francis effect”

Washington DC Cardinal Donald Wuerl said “he sees a definite ‘Francis effect’ among his priests, especially older ones who carry the scars of the abuse scandals, and who today are ‘standing taller’ because of positive reaction to the pope’s emphasis on welcome.”

Because of Pope Francis’ popularity, he and his men are validated, affirmed and encouraged – even by those who claim sophistication in recognizing the bias of the corporate media – to continue brutalizing children, women and gays.


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