So long as you haven’t been living under a rock in the last month or so, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked the Catholic church.
For those who have been living under a rock, former Vatican ambassador to the United States Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano released a devastating letter last week accusing Pope Francis of covering up sexual abuses committed by former Washington, D.C., Archbishop Theodore McCarrick involving seminarians and one alltar boy.
Vigano also implicated several prominent figures in the cover-ups, but Pope Francis is obviously the biggest name considering he’s the head of the Catholic church.
They are grave allegations, to say the least.
Now, to be fair, they are just allegations at the moment. There is no concrete evidence the pope actually covered anything up.
It is currently just a simple matter of word versus word.
Or, at least it would be if Francis were to make a public statement denying Vigano’s claims..
However, Francis has been incredibly mum on the allegations, which has driven both his supporters and detractors mad. For all intents and purposes, the current scandal is little more than Vigano’s, and several other Catholic figures who vouch for him, against the void.
“The pope has a bigger agenda. He’s got to get on with other things,” Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said in an interview with WMAQ-TV in Chicago.
Personally, it seems that there can’t be things much more important than sexual abuse allegations lobbied against powerful men who wield untold influence through the Catholic church, but Cupich could have a point.
After all, there are wars, famine, prejudices and hatred running rampant in the world today. Had Pope Francis spoken up about those issues amid the ongoing scandal, it may have been understandable.
But no. Apparently the “bigger agenda” for Pope Francis has to do with the rampant plastics littering the sea.
Just to clarify, this isn’t to denigrate the issue of ocean pollution. It is a real problem that will require significant change if we’re to preserve the oceans for future generations.
But when Pope Francis’ first major comments following the explosive allegations has to do with plastic in the ocean? It’s hard to blame people for being upset.
Pope Francis issued the message Saturday, according to the New York Post, urging people and politicians to make radical changes to save the oceans. He urged “farsighted responsibility” to help save the oceans. Pope Francis also lambasted the privatization of water and how it restricts people’s access to the precious resource.
Again, in a vacuum, Pope Francis’ message was a worthy one and of vital importance.
But life does not operate in a vacuum. Even just portraying the image that he cares more about the ocean than gravely serious allegations of rampant sexual abuse scandals under his nose is not a good look.
And it’s not what Catholics — and non-Catholics — the world over need to see from Rome these days.
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