By Riccardo Cascioli
The scandal of sexual abuse in Chile is now a loose cannon that threatens to explode even in Rome. The facts are now well-known and revolve around the extensive cover-up – in Chile above all, but now also in Rome – of a famous Chilean priest, Fr. Fernando Karadima, leader of a community from which various priests and bishops have come, among which is the highly controversial Juan Barros, at the center of the story that now also involves Pope Francis as a protagonist.
The personal credibility of the Pope himself in addressing cases of pedophilia is now being questioned even by progressive voices, after what happened at the end of his recent visit to Chile. Already in the crosshairs for naming Barros as bishop of Osorno in January 2015, despite the strong opposition of one part of the Chilean episcopate and of the faithful of that diocese, the statements of Pope Francis at the end of his visit to Chile have raised up a real dust cloud. To those who asked him to explain this nomination, the Pope – with strong words – replied speaking of slander and a lack of evidence against Bishop Barros, a position that was then reiterated during the press conference on the airplane, although the Pope sought to somewhat correct the terminology used after being publicly censured by Cardinal O’Malley, one of the nine counselors called by the Pope to redesign the Roman Curia, who is also the head of the Vatican Commission for the Protection of Minors. Moreover, Pope Francis stated that he had never received any evidence from the alleged abuse victims who had accused Barros.
Now however, the document published two days ago by the Associated Press demonstrates precisely the opposite: it was Cardinal O’Malley himself who in April 2015 gave to the Pope an eight-page letter in which one of the victims of Father Karadima recounted the details of the abuse he was subjected to and also the direct responsibility of Barros.
Moreover, this denial of the Pope’s version of events seems to be the icing on the cake of an attitude that had already raised a great deal of perplexity. In fact in 2014 Pope Francis had already ordered that Barros would renounce his episcopal ministry, but he then retraced his steps and named him Bishop of Osorno and defended his appointment with sword drawn, despite the criticism of the Chilean Bishops’ Conference. The Pope did not give an explanation for his change of direction even when he returned from Chile, but Vatican sources indicate that the true cause of the transformation was Cardinal Francisco Javier Errazuriz. The former Archbishop of Santiago is in fact a member of the famous “C9” (council of nine cardinals) who support the Pope in the reorganization of the Roman Curia. Errazuriz certainly enjoys the trust and esteem of the Pope, who wanted him to be a part of the C9, but in Chile he is known as the great “sandbag” because for years he prevented measures being taken against Karadima and he delayed any assessment being made of the truth. It is easy to think that the role of the elderly Chilean Cardinal has had a great deal to do with the attitude of the Pope.
But separate from the reconstruction of the facts of the Barros affair, the case of Chile is important because it confirms what is already well-known but is always silenced: the so-called “pedophilia cases” are actually an overwhelming majority of incidents of homosexuality. As is known, pedophilia properly refers to the attraction of adults for pre-pubescent children. When such attraction is directed towards teenagers, one must instead speak of ephebophilia which is initiated by homosexual persons. This is what we are talking about in Chile, but it also is true for at least 80% of the cases which are erroneously reported in the news as cases of pedophilia in the Church. This is at least the conclusion which emerges from the reports of John Jay College on the cases of abuse registered in the Church in the United States.
It might seem like a small difference – one could say that it is still dealing with the abuse of minors – but it is in fact a fundamental point, because it allows us to say clearly that the problem in the Church is not pedophilia but homosexuality. And this is a reality which is desired to be kept hidden because it is unpleasant to the gay lobby which is committed to promoting the normalization of homosexuality in the Church. Above all, in the last few years we are witnessing an unprecedented homosexual offensive, which has now come to the point of attacking the Catechism, as we have seen in the last few days. The case of the retreat for homosexual couples in Turin – now suspended after there was an outcry – and the blessing for homosexual couples endorsed by Cardinal Marx, president of the German Bishops’ Conference, are only the most recent episodes. It is clear that they are spinning the “welcome” of persons with homosexual tendencies – which in itself is a proper thing to do – in order to promote the acceptance of homosexuality itself, which is instead “an objective disorder” [words of the Catechism]. It is not by chance that in Italy, for example, the apostolates of accompaniment which are in accord with the Church’s teaching – like Courage and the “Lot Association” of Luca di Tolve – are being blocked in order to give room to those groups which promote the “LGBT experience” and maintain that homosexuality is a sexual orientation just like heterosexuality.
It is proof of how much the gay lobby has now become rooted within the Church; indeed, we can affirm with certainty that this lobby is actively climbing the ladder of the church hierarchy, with the occupation of key posts in the Vatican and in many dioceses and ecclesial structures (not to mention the media, see for example Avvenire). One can calmly say that the gay lobby has never been so powerful in the Church, and the present mess in Chile is a child of this strange interweaving of murky ties and blackmail.
This factor [the ascendance of the gay lobby to unprecedented power] risks undermining a great part of the work done during the pontificates of St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI to address the sexual abuse of minors. It explains also the recent stripping of power from the disciplinary section of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith which dealt with clerical sexual abuse cases. Until a few months ago there were ten officials of the Congregation who dealt with the voluminous dossiers in this regard, and because of the large amount of work an increase in staffing had been promised. But the sudden dismissal of three priests by Pope Francis (without giving any reason, an action denounced by then-Prefect Cardinal Gerhard Müller) reduced the number of officials entrusted with this work to seven, without even one of them a native French or English speaker.
In other words, the Barros case is not an isolated episode, it is only the tip of the iceberg.
Originally published at La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. Translated by Giuseppe Pellegrino