Pope Francis: We have a big problem

As a cradle Catholic, I am furious with some of the leaders of our church.  I love the Catholic faith.  I am a believer, as they say.

My church stands for life, family, and marriage.  We help the poor every day.  We do wonderful things that make me proud of our parishes.

I remember my father's cousin, who spent 14 years in a Cuban political prison, sharing stories of priests who traded places with others so that a married man with a family would not be executed.  Many priests stood up to communism in Cuba, and some were thrown in jail or executed.

Once again, we are talking about men who abused children rather than the aforementioned heroes or deeds.

How was this behavior allowed to happen?  The answer is "the cover-up" – how men in our church said nothing.

Shame on the men who remained quiet concerning this barbaric treatment of children.  We put these children in the hands of priests, and they do this?

I agree with Marc Thiessen that Cardinal Wuerl must go:

In 1972, Pope Paul VI warned that "the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God." 

We see that smoke throughout the report from a Pennsylvania grand jury, which alleges that more than 300 priests abused more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses – including 99 priests from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, which was led for 18 years by Cardinal Donald Wuerl, now archbishop of Washington.

How bad was the abuse? 

The report notes that "during the course of this investigation, the Grand Jury uncovered a ring of predatory priests operating within the [Pittsburgh] Diocese who shared intelligence or information regarding victims as well as exchanging the victims amongst themselves.  This ring also manufactured child pornography ... [and] used whips, violence and sadism in raping their victims."  According to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, one victim, a boy named George, "was forced to stand on a bed in a rectory, strip naked and pose as Christ on the cross for the priests.  They took photos of their victim, adding them to a collection of child pornography which they produced and shared on church grounds." 

Abusing a child while mocking the Passion of Christ is truly diabolical.

"Diabolical" is not strong enough.

I met Cardinal Wuerl last summer in Dallas.  I was a volunteer driving priests to and from the airport during a national meeting in Dallas-Ft. Worth.  I even took a photo with Cardinal Wuerl, a face we've seen on TV often.

My guess is that Cardinal Wuerl was not involved in any of this.  However, he was the man in charge and must pay for it.

Subsequently, Pope Francis must make this an urgent priority and let "the law," not the Vatican, deal with these men.  They are criminals and child-abusers.  They deserve to be punished by the state.

A few years ago, many of my friends left the Catholic Church because of the cover-up.  My guess is that more will leave now.

So we pray that Pope Francis understands how serious this problem is.

PS: You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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