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Friday, February 22, 2019

Guest Post Part 2: Pope Francis Fiddles while Faithful Burn with Anger!

Read Part 1 here.

Editor's note: Last November the pope told the USCCB not to take any substantive action on the sex abuse crisis because he had scheduled the summit in Rome. The summit, being hyped as a serious look at the problem, seems to be just one more stage production to create the impression that the Vatican is taking the problem seriously and actually doing something about it. Don't hold your breath. So far the press conferences indicate that the real problem (sodomite behavior which includes clergy homosexual abuse of minors, clergy homosexual abuse of young adults, especially seminary students, and consensual clergy homosexual sodomy between adults.) The only issue being addressed at the summit is the abuse of minors. And Blase Cupich, a master spinmeister, is continuing the cover up. When you read the papal schedule below, note how almost nothing is being said or done about what can only be described as the major Church crisis of our day. The pope has time to fly around the world, visit art galleries, attend interfaith meetings, and babble on and on about whatever; but dealing with the sex abuse crisis is hardly on his radar screen. The silence of the shepherd for his poor little slaughtered lambs in the womb and for the victims of clergy sex abuse (many of whom have committed suicide) is appalling! 

by James M. Thunder
Part 2: Has the Pope Abandoned His Post? Has He Been Fiddling?

    What matters and events have kept Pope Francis so busy during August, September, October, November, December, and January – 180 days – so busy that he could neither address Archbishop Viganò’s testimonies nor engage with bishops on their conduct in abusing, or enabling the abuse of, children and seminarians?

    Consider the four business management categories of tasks: important and urgent; important but not urgent; unimportant but urgent; unimportant and not urgent. In what category would most people place the issue of the bishops’ conduct in abusing children and seminarians? Enabling such abuse? Covering up such abuse? Promoting abusers and enablers?

    How did Pope Francis keep busy? There are the papal routines, presumably many of which could be worked into a more pressing matter: daily morning Mass, weekly Wednesday afternoon audiences, weekly Sunday praying of the Angelus. He also celebrates many special Masses, such as one for the closing of the Youth Synod and one on November 3 for the repose of the souls of Cardinals and bishops who have died in the preceding year. I do not list below any of these routine papal activities.

    What other things are on a papal calendar? There are trips abroad. (He traveled to Palermo, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, Panama, and the United Arab Emirates.) There are the unscheduled messages of condolences and prayers to victims of natural disasters, accidents, war and civil strife, and persecution. There are appointments to Curial offices. There is the receiving of new ambassadors. There are meetings with Curial officials such as those that result in papal decrees of miracles and the naming of bishops. (In his first three years, Pope Francis appointed 500 bishops. That’s a rate of over three weekly.) There are ad limina (or ad limina apostolorum) visits which are week-long meetings that occur every five years between bishops from a geographic territory and Curial officials, including meetings with the pope. None of the activities I identified in this paragraph appear on the formal online papal calendar. [The 2018 calendar is no longer online.]

    I would not expect you, the reader, to read each of the following entries. Scrolling would be sufficient to make my point. Each day adds to the torment of the lay faithful.

August 2018
August, the entire month of August, is vacation time in Italy.
Aug. 2: Pope Francis announces a change on capital punishment.
Aug. 20: As mentioned in the first part, Pope Frances sends a 2,000-word letter “to the People of God” on the sex abuse scandal
Aug. 25-26: Pope Francis attends the World Meeting of Families in Dublin.
Aug. 31: Pope Francis addresses the General Chapter of the Oblates of St. Joseph.

In September, it’s back to business for Italy. Here is a detailed calendar for the month:
Sept. 1: Pope Francis sends message on the World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation and addresses entrepreneurs attending the Day.
Sept. 3: Pope Francis meetings with the bishops of Sudan and South Sudan.
Sept. 5: Pope Francis addresses the Italian Motorcycle Federation.
Sept. 6: Pope Francis addresses the International Conference for Consecrated Widows.
Sept. 7: Pope Francis addresses the Italian Parents Association.
Sept. 8: Pope Francis addresses bishops from Mission Territories participating in the Seminar promoted by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and, separately, the Communio Internationalis Benedictinarum Symposium.
Sept. 11: Pope Francis meets with the bishops of Venezuela.
Sept. 13: Pope Francis addresses the bishops participating in the course promoted by the Congregation for Bishops and, separately, participants at the conference on the theme “The theology of tenderness of Pope Francis.”
Sept. 14: Pope Francis addresses the General Chapter of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin and, separately, participants meeting on the crisis in Syria and neighboring countries.
Sept. 15: Pope Francis makes an apostolic visit to Palermo.
Sept. 17: Pope Francis addresses young people from the Diocese of Grenoble-Vienne (France).
Sept. 18: Pope Francis promulgates the apostolic constitution Episopalis communio (“On the Synod of Bishops”).
Sept. 21: Pope Francis addresses priests of the Archdiocese of Valencia, and sends a video message to participants in the “V National Encuentro” of the Hispanic/Latino Catholic community meeting in Grapevine, Texas, Sept. 20-23.
Sept. 22: Pope Francis reaches an agreement with the People’s Republic of China.
Sept. 22: Pope Francis sends a video message to the International Congress on “The Catechist, Witness to the Mystery,” organized by the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization.
Sept. 22-25: Pope Francis makes apostolic visits to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.
Sept. 26: Pope Francis sends messages to the Catholics of China and to the Universal Truth and to the G20 Interfaith Forum held in Buenos Aires, Sept. 26-28.
Sept. 27: Pope Francis meets with the bishops of Scotland.
Sept. 28: Pope Francis meets with bishops of England and Wales.
Sept. 29: Pope Francis addresses the (Italian) National State Police Association.

Oct. 1: Pope Francis addresses the priests of the Diocese of Creteil (France), the IV Seminar on Ethics in Health Services Management, and the General Chapter of the Institute of Charity (Rosminians).
Oct. 6: Pope Francis meets with Youth Synod Fathers and addresses, separately, pilgrims from Slovakia on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the erection of the Eparchy of Presov.
Oct. 8: Pope Francis meets with the bishops of Taiwan.
Oct. 10: Pope Francis addresses pilgrims from the Diocese of Krakow.
Oct. 13: Pope Francis addresses seminarians from Lombardy.
Oct. 15: Pope Francis addresses pilgrims from El Salvador.
Oct. 16: Pope Francis sends a message on World Food Day.
Oct. 22: Pope Francis addresses the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ (Passionists).
Oct. 23: Pope Francis addresses young people and elderly.
Oct. 25: Pope Francis participates in the Eucharistic Celebration at the Altar of the Chair, with Synod Fathers who walked the Via Francigena, from Monte Mario to St. Peter’s Square.
Oct. 27: Pope Francis sends a video message to the first Synod of the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires, and addresses the closing session of the Youth Synod.
Oct. 29: Pope Francis addresses young people from the Diocese of Viviers (France) and, separately, the General Chapter of the Congregation of the Missionaries of St. Charles (Scalabrinians). He sends a message to the Director of SIR News Agency to mark 30 years of publication.
Oct. 31: Pope Francis addresses the American Bible Society.

Nov. 1: Pope Francis sends a video message to the Scholas Occurrentes of Buenos Aires.
Nov. 5: Pope Frances addresses the World Congress of Mountain Jews.
Nov. 8: Pope Francis sends a written message to a conference in Rome on drinking water.
Nov. 9: Pope Francis receives the new ambassador from Ireland. He addresses students from the School of Journalism in Germany and the International Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists.
Nov. 10: Pope Francis address the Alunni del Cielo (“Students of Heaven”) Association and, separately, the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses. He sends a message to the Archbishop of Poznan for the 100th anniversary of Polish independence.
Nov. 12: Pope Francis sends letters, one to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the monastic community of Bose, and another for the inauguration of the academic year of the Pontifical Lateran University.
Nov. 13: Pope Francis sends a message to the XXV General Assembly of the Spanish Conference of Religious Men and Women meeting in Madrid, Nov. 13-15.
Nov. 15: Pope Francis meets Israel's President Rivlin. He also addresses the Pius Pontifical Latin America College in Rome.
Nov. 16: Pope Francis receives the new ambassador from Bosnia and Herzegovina. He meets with representatives of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Nov. 17: Pope Francis addresses the Joseph Ratzinger-Benedict XVI Foundation and, separately, the Apostolic Movement of the Blind.
Nov. 18: Pope Frances releases a message on the second annual World Day of the Poor and lunches with the poor.
Nov. 19: Pope Francis receives the new ambassador from Austria, receives Indian Nobel Peace Prize recipient Kailash Sathyarthi, and addresses pilgrims from Albania.
Nov. 22: Pope Francis sends a video message to 8th Festival of the Social Doctrine of the Church meeting in Verona, Nov. 22-25.
Nov. 23: Pope Francis meets with the bishops of Iran. He addresses the Giorgio La Pira Foundation.
Nov. 24: Pope Francis receives participants in the Third International Meeting of Choirs and he addresses seminarians from the Diocese of Agrigento. He sends letters for the Centenary of the Death of Bl. Giuseppe Toniolo and the 50th anniversary of the elevation to “Pontifical Basilica” of the Basilica of Saint Nicholas of Bari.
Nov. 27: Pope Francis tours a Russian art exhibit.
Nov. 28: Pope Francis sends an address to the International Christian Union of Business Executives.
Nov. 29: Pope Francis receives bishops of the Episcopal Conference of the Indian Ocean. He sends a message to a conference on decommissioning places of worship and he addresses the International Convention of the Rectors and Pastoral Workers of Shrines.
Nov. 30: Pope Francis receives children from Poland suffering from cancer.

Dec. 1: Pope Francis receives people from the Dioceses of Ugento and Molfetto. He addresses the International Conference on Drugs and Addictions. He sends a letter on the 60th anniversary of the reconstruction and consecration of the Cathedral of Manila.
Dec. 3: Pope Francis addresses the Rondine “Cittadella della Pace” Association and, separately, the International College of the Gesù of Rome.
Dec. 4: Pope Francis sends a message on the occasion of the 23rd Public Session of the Pontifical Academies.
Dec. 5: Pope Francis sends a letter to his envoy for the Dec. 8 beatification of Algerian martyrs.
Dec. 6: Pope Francis receives members of the Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy (Mercedarians), on the eighth centenary of its foundation.
Dec. 7: Pope Francis receives the new ambassador from Spain.
Dec. 8 (Feast of the Immaculate Conception): Pope Francis visits the Rome daily newspaper Il Messaggero. He venerates the Immaculate Conception at the Spanish Steps.
Dec. 10: Pope Francis sends a message to the International Conference on Human Rights, meeting in Rome, Dec. 10-11.
Dec. 12: Pope Francis announces his schedule for his trip to the UAE, Feb. 3-5.
Dec. 13: Pope Francis sends a message to participants in the Study Day on Water organized by the FAO meeting in Madrid. He addresses Telepace and, separately, non-resident ambassadors.
Dec. 16: Pope Francis addresses parents, volunteers, and the children of the Santa Marta Pediatric Dispensary.
Dec. 17: Pope Francis addresses the International Commission Against the Death Penalty.
Dec. 18: Pope Francis issues a message for the 52nd World Day of Peace, Jan. 1.
Dec. 20: Pope Francis receives members of Italian Catholic Action Youth.
Dec. 21: Pope Francis gives Christmas greetings to the employees (with their families) of the Holy See and the Vatican City.
Dec. 21: As mentioned in the first part, Pope Francis delivers a 4,000-word address to the Curia on the upcoming February summit on the abuse of children, and on the ordained who stab brothers in the back.
Dec. 22: Pope Francis addresses the (Italian) National Civil Protective Service.
Dec. 25 (Christmas Day): Pope Francis delivers his “Urbi et Orbi” Blessing.

Jan. 3: As mentioned earlier, Pope Francis sends a 3600-word letter to the U.S. bishops on retreat in Mundelein Illinois.
Jan. 7: Pope Francis addresses the Diplomatic Corps.
Jan. 8: Pope Francis sends a message for World Day of the Sick.
Jan. 11: Pope Francis makes a surprise visit to a Poor Clares monastery 100 miles from Rome.
Jan. 12: Pope Francis addresses the Italian Association of Church History Professors.
Jan. 13: Pope Francis baptizes 27 infants in the Sistine Chapel on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
Jan. 15: Pope Francis sends letter to Pontifical Academy of Life on the 25th anniversary of its establishment, and a message to a meeting of the Presidents of the Doctrinal Commissions of the Episcopal Conferences in Asia.
Jan. 17: Pope Francis addresses the management and staff of the Vatican office responsible for public security. He sends a video message to the World Indigenous Youth Gathering. He issues a moto proprio absorbing the work of the Ecclesia Dei Pontifical Commission (charged with dialogue with the Lefebvrists of the Saint Pius X Fraternity) into the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
Jan. 19: Pope Francis addresses the Finnish Ecumenical Delegation on the Feast of Saint Henrik.
Jan. 23-28: Pope Francis makes an apostolic journey to Panama for World Youth Day.
Jan. 29: Pope Francis inaugurates the judicial year of the Roman Rota and addresses the Fourth International Conference for World Balance.

Feb. 1: Pope Francis addresses the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Orthodox Churches and the General Chapter of the Hospitaller Order of St. John of God.
Feb. 2: Pope Francis addresses the National Council of the Principality of Monaco and the Board of Directors of the Italian Pro-Life Movement.
Feb. 3-5: Pope Francis makes an apostolic journey to UAE.
Feb. 7: Pope Francis addresses personnel of the Regina Coeli House of Rome.
Feb. 8: Pope Francis addresses the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers), the Missionary Sister of Our Lady of Africa (White Sisters), and member of the Galileo Foundation.
Feb. 9: Pope Francis addresses the Alphonsian Academy Higher Institute of Theology and the National Association of Magistrates.
Feb. 14: Pope Francis address the Plenary Assembly of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and the 42nd Session of the Governing Council of the UN Agency, International Fund for Agricultural Development.
Feb. 16: Pope Francis addresses the Augustinianum Patristic Institute.
Just prior to the February summit: Pope Francis will meet with the Council of Cardinals.
Feb. 21-24: Summit of heads of episcopal conferences.

So, Part 2 has recounted the Pope’s activities for over 180 days. While Pope Francis famously asked, “Who am I to judge?”, there is no reason that we should not avail ourselves of this information in judging Pope Francis. When I read these activities, my cheeks flush. I am enraged. I burn.  The laity put their sons under the care of priests and bishops. The laity provided the funds for the education, housing, food, clothes, cars and retirements of priests and bishops. Yet, some of them, too many of them, abuse our sons, wreck their lives, their faith, their vocations to married life or the priesthood. And then our bishops take our money, not their personal funds, and pay compensation to victims. Some dioceses have filed for bankruptcy. So, our dioceses lose these funds for the purposes for which they were donated: to evangelize, to pay for charities, to pay for the maintenance of our churches. Where is the response, in deed not just in word, of Pope Francis?

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