Meanwhile in these tragic circumstances it is not Pope Francis or the World Meeting of Families Congress to which troubled souls should turn, but to God Almighty.

Spot on! Fr. West, Enough is Enough

By —— Bio and Archives--August 21, 2018

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Spot on! Fr. West, Enough is Enough
How sincere was Pope Francis in responding to the grand jury report on clerical sexual abuse in six Pennsylvania dioceses?

The cynical among us, of which there are many practicing Catholics, would say about as sincere as a wife-beating alcoholic husband who tells his wife after his last beating: “I’m sorry and will never do it again.”


In his Monday letter addressed to the “People of God”  in which he stated with “shame and repentance” Catholic Church authorities were “not where we should have been,” did not act in a “timely manner,” and failed to realize the “magnitude and the gravity of the damage done to so many lives”, the pontiff wrote in heart-rending words: “We showed no care for the little ones; we abandoned them.”

That was yesterday.  Today the World Meeting of Families getting underway in Dublin, Ireland has his blessings even though American Jesuit Fr. James Martin, who seeks to build a bridge between the LGBT community and the church, is scheduled to give a workshop on how parishes can welcome LGBT Catholics, their parents and families.

The controversial Martin has been targeted by the Irish branch of the international movement Tradition, Family, Property with a petition requesting that he withdraw from the congress. The petition has garnered more than 11,000 signatures.

“In the petition, an open letter to Dublin Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, president of the World Meeting of Families, the Irish Society for Christian Civilisation claims Fr. Martin should not have been invited because he “is a supporter of New Ways Ministry, a pro homosexual and lesbian religious organization which has been declared gravely unacceptable by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.” It is NCR’s understanding that organizers have no intention of rescinding the invitation to Fr. Martin. (NCROnline, Aug. 18, 2018)

Nor did organizers of the World Meeting of Families, rescind the attendance of Cardinal Donald Wuerl, implicated in the grand jury report among 300 accused priests in the grand jury report, among 300 accused priests who allegedly abused 1,000 People of God between 1947 and 2017.

Cardinal Wuerl, who was bishop of Pittsburgh for 18 years from 1988 to 2006, says he won’t be attending the Dublin gathering even though media reports on the World Meeting of Families were still listing him as an attendee as of Aug. 21, 2018

The World Meeting of Families Congress is a gathering of the Roman Catholic Church that has occurred every three years since 1994. It is organized by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, which “promotes the pastoral care of families, protects their rights and dignity in the Church and in civil society, so that they may ever be more able to fulfill their duties.” The most recent meeting took place in Philadelphia in 2015 headlined by Pope Francis, who incidentally created the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life in 2016

“Despite Irish Catholics’ many misgivings about the sexual abuse scandals in the church and the treatment of women and LGBT people, there is much enthusiasm for the ninth World Meeting of Families, scheduled to take place Aug. 21-26 in Dublin. (NCROnline)

The hoopla of the World Meeting of Families notwithstanding, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury’s revelations are no small matter.  Nor are the allegations of sexual abuse against “predator priests” exclusive to Pennsylvania having arrived amid other recent allegations of clerical abuse and cover-up coming from Chile, Honduras and the U.K.

It is obscene that organizers of the World Meeting of Families did not cancel, or at least postpone their Dublin meeting taking place in the direct aftermath of these revelations, and hypocritical of Pope Francis to attend in the present circumstance of the great numbers of victims still suffering a kind of pain that in many cases never goes away.

In his letter to all, Pope Francis noted that even though most of the cases in the grand jury belong to the past, “we have come to know the pain of many of the victims and have realized that “these wounds never go away”.

Rhetoric, no matter how florid, does not make wounds go away, only action of the most visible kind has a chance to do so.

‘Enough is Enough’

At least one parish priest,  Father H. Gregory West, a priest of the Diocese of Charleston for 27 years, who is circulating a petition to be sent to the Cardinals who have the clout to hold Pope Francis accountable,is calling for real action:

“If Pope Francis is unable or unwilling to effect the necessary reforms, we hereby petition you to exercise your office and invite him to step aside, after the example of Pope Benedict, to allow for the election of a Pontiff who can and will effect true reform starting with the Roman Curia.”

  1. Beginning with the Roman Curia, there must be a cleansing of those who by action or silence were complicit in the rise of a known sexual predator in the ranks of the Church.
  2. Pope Francis must effectively pursue the thorough reform of the Roman Curia and its finances to which he was called by his election.
  3. Those who are called to advise Pope Francis must make clear to him that the accustomed secrecy and denials cannot exist in today’s world.  He cannot at the same time accuse the Chilean people of calumny when they present their legitimate complaints against Bishop Juan Barros and claim to be interested in reform.  He can no longer wait to be forced to remove offenders.
  4. Pope Francis must be challenged regarding the role of Cardinal √ìscar Rodriguez Maradiaga as a nominal reformer coordinating C9, the Council of nine Cardinals, supposedly overseeing reform.  The complaints from Maradiaga’s seminarians regarding moral turpitude in his seminary cannot be answered by calling these forthright men “gossipers.”
  5. If Pope Francis is unable or unwilling to effect the necessary reforms, we hereby petition you to exercise your office and invite him to step aside, after the example of Pope Benedict, to allow for the election of a Pontiff who can and will effect true reform starting with the Roman Curia.”

“We recognize the great works of goodness in the Church and within the Roman Curia.  We love the Church and we wish to bring our children, all youth and all people of good will to the joy of being Catholic.  We cannot tolerate this breach of trust and respect.  We will not accept bureaucratic nostrums about convening panels for discussion or the creation of policies.  The Gospels suffice.  Regardless of its effect on ecclesiastical careers or personal popularity in Rome, we exhort you to do what must be done.  We assure you of our prayers for the success of your mission.”


This is the petition: ‘Enough is Enough’:

“Dear Friends in Christ,

The scandals perpetrated by Archbishop McCarrick and thousands of priests over the past 70 years is incomprehensible and sickening. As faithful Catholics, we are deeply saddened and angered by the horror experienced by so many young men and women by those who were ordained to be Christ-like. Moreover, we find it shocking that our leaders, the bishops, often acted immorally, and in some cases, illegally. Millions of dollars have been spent in settlements and payoffs. Many of us feel hopeless and powerless.

An effort has begun locally, and is spreading nationwide, for us, laity and clergy, to do something. A petition to the American members of the College of Cardinals, the Pope’s chief advisers, is now circulating. The text of the petition is below. We are trying to gather at least one million signatures before September 8. The petition will then be sent to all the cardinals.

Please consider signing it. Click here to go to the petition at change.org.  Forward this email. Post it to your social media. Text it to others. Let our voices be heard throughout this country and beyond. This is our Church. We will not allow poor leadership to hijack it.

May we stand and kneel together in prayer, faithfulness, and humility for our beloved Catholic Church.

Yours faithfully,
Father West”

Meanwhile in these tragic circumstances it is not Pope Francis or the World Meeting of Families Congress to which troubled souls should turn, but to God Almighty.


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Judi McLeod -- Bio and Archives | Comments

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Judi McLeod is an award-winning journalist with 30 years’ experience in the print media. A former Toronto Sun columnist, she also worked for the Kingston Whig Standard. Her work has appeared on Rush Limbaugh, Newsmax.com, Drudge Report, Foxnews.com.

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