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An Earthquake And An Avalanche

July 19, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By CHRISTOPHER MANION

In recent days, as California was rocked by a magnitude 7 earthquake, the Vatican and America’s Catholic hierarchy were inundated by an avalanche of their own. For a year after the McCarrick scandal broke, prelates here and in Rome had managed to preserve a semblance of credibility, adorned with trappings of a synod and new laws and earnest promises. But within the past fortnight, the rickety stonewall of coverup and omertà crumbled with increasing speed.
On July 3, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former papal nuncio to the United States, shared new charges with LifeSiteNews. They are troubling indeed.
“Not only is Pope Francis doing close to nothing to punish those who have committed abuse,” Viganò writes, “he is doing absolutely nothing to expose and bring to justice those who have, for decades, facilitated and covered up the abusers.”
“Going back to the [February 2019] summit and its focus on the abuse of minors,” he continued, “I now wish to bring to your attention two recent and truly horrifying cases involving allegations of offenses against minors during Pope Francis’ tenure. The Pope and many prelates in the Curia are well aware of these allegations, but in neither case was an open and thorough investigation permitted. An objective observer cannot help but suspect that horrible deeds are being covered up.”
Viganò’s newest allegations are shocking. First, he claims that Pope Francis’ Vatican officials shut down an investigation into sexual abuse of minors training to be altar boys inside the Vatican itself. The whistleblower was expelled, his supporters left, and the accused abuser, whom Viganò identifies by name, went on to be ordained two years ago.
Second, he addresses Pope Francis’ appointment of Venezuelan Archbishop Edgar Peña Parra to be the new “Substitute” at the Secretariat of State, “making him the third most powerful person in the Curia. In doing so,” Viganò claims, “the Pope essentially ignored a terrifying dossier [of abuse allegations] sent to him by a group of faithful from Maracaibo.”
In the U.S. the McCarrick ghost continues to haunt Washington. In 2005, Msgr. Walter Rossi, rector of Washington’s Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, was appointed by Cardinal McCarrick when his predecessor, Michael Bransfield, left to become bishop of Wheeling-Charleston (Bransfield was recently accused of abuse, and was removed).
“Rossi is, without doubt, a member of the ‘gay mafia’,” Archbishop Viganò tells Italian journalist Marco Tosatti. “While I was nuncio in the United States, I received documentation stating that Msgr. Rossi had sexually molested male students at the Catholic University of America. The Vatican, in particular Cardinal Parolin, is well aware of the situation of Msgr. Rossi, as is Cardinal Wuerl.”

Most Prelates Are Paralyzed, But Some Speak Out

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, is a brave man. Last month he was shut down when he demanded that bishops “support efforts to bring to light the McCarrick scandal issues as fully as possible.” Undaunted, he wrote last week on Twitter that “Archbishop Vigano’s [latest] statements are either true or false, even as many seek a third option of confusion. I beg all who have proof either way to finally speak up — the Church will continue to suffer until the truth is brought to light. Pray the Rosary for this intention.”
The USCCB might remain silent, but Bishop Strickland is not going away. “Faithful Catholics who believe in the Eucharist & pray the Rosary need to demand an investigation of this and a clear reporting of the truth,” he added. Four days later, he upped the ante. “I encourage every faithful Catholic to…pray for all who are caught up in the culture of lies. As a bishop I will do my best to ‘guard the deposit of faith, entire & incorrupt’ from the wolves who attack it. Mercy abhors bigotry AND sin.”

Lay Faithful: Fed Up

Strickland recommended a recent article by Phil Lawler, who for a quarter-century has carefully chronicled events in the Church. He comes right to the point: “‘Pride Month’ has come to an end. And for the first two days of July, the first readings at Mass told the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. I’d call that a coincidence — if I believed in coincidences.” Lawler condemns the “priests and prelates and their lay underlings who openly disseminate their own spin on LGBT propaganda. What makes their actions grossly evil,” he adds, “is that they do so in the name of God.”
A growing number of laymen like Lawler have finally had enough. Leftist bishops mock their critics as “culture warriors,” he observes, but they’re blowing smoke (his latest book is entitled The Smoke of Satan).
“Don’t ask whether or not there is a war going on,” he writes, “…a war for the soul of our society, a war for the integrity of our Church. There is. The right question to ask — first of yourself, then of your pastor and your bishop and your Catholic friends — is: Which side are you on?”
Through these endless scandals, millions among the faithful have been patient, doing their jobs, praying for the Church and laying low. But more are speaking out. Damian Thompson, longtime editor of the Catholic Herald in London, resigned last week. “I’m moving to the Spectator where I will be free to tell you what I really think,” he writes.
And the veteran Vatican observer wastes no time: “Francis began his pontificate promisingly….But then a more troubling picture emerged: of a manipulative and untruthful score-settler given to rages and revenge.”
Thompson condemns the Pope’s “determination to protect his allies, however sordid they are, and to inflict brutal punishment on those who cross him.”

. . . And Some Priests Have Had Enough Too

New York pastor Fr. Gerald Murray asks the forbidden question. “McCarrick’s current situation is emblematic of the paralysis that has descended on the Church. . . . He is allowed to live an untroubled life in a Church facility. . . . His conviction has been met by his silence, which is a spiritual danger for his soul. Only public repentance and public penance, including monetary reparations, will benefit his victims and his own soul.
“It is high time,” Murray continues, “for the hierarchy of the Church to reveal to the faithful the whole story of McCarrick and of other bishops who were wolves in shepherds’ clothing, inflicting harm on the sheep, either as sexual molesters or as their enablers and protectors.”
Fr. Jerry Pokorsky, a pastor in the Diocese of Arlington, marvels at our somnambulant shepherds.
“Honesty is in short supply,” he writes, “and we seem unable or unwilling of thinking and behaving like Catholics with integrity.” Archbishop Viganò “has made credible and precise charges against high-ranking ecclesiastical officials. The same accusations against a priest would quickly be investigated and would likely end his ministry. Disgraced ex-cardinal McCarrick continues to live at Church expense in a Kansas monastery, yet he hasn’t said one word revealing who his partners in crime were…[and] little or nothing has been done to root out the gay network in the Vatican and among the bishops.”
Quite a laundry list for a “mere” priest, right? Pokorsky anticipates the gibe. “Skeptics may question my credentials for daring to make these observations. It’s true, I rank very low on the ecclesiastical food chain. But I’m not as stupid as I look.”
Neither are the laity. The Church is suffering because of an abundance of Judases and a short supply of Peters.
The time for silence is over. Demand the truth out loud, and keep demanding it until we get it.

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