Pope Decries ‘Persecution’ of Catholic Church Through Accusations
Remarks, at the end of a gathering of bishops, are unlikely to mollify critics in wake of sex-abuse scandals
By Francis X. Rocca Pope Decries ‘Persecution’ of Catholic Church Through Accusations
Updated Oct. 27, 2018 6:26 p.m. ET
ROME—Pope Francis told a gathering of bishops from around the world that the Catholic Church is being persecuted through accusations—an apparent allusion to clerical sex-abuse scandals that have undermined the credibility of the papacy and church hierarchy over the course of this year.
Addressing the closing session of a synod of bishops at the Vatican on Saturday, the pope repeated warnings he has made in recent weeks against the “Great Accuser,” or the devil, who “in this moment is accusing us strongly, and this accusation becomes persecution,” and who seeks to “soil the church.”
“This is the moment to defend our mother” the church, said the pope, in remarks unlikely to mollify critics who say he has failed to recognize the hierarchy’s responsibility for the abuse crisis. “The accuser is attacking our mother through us, and no one touches our mother.”
The gathering of more than 250 bishops was dedicated to the topic of youth, exploring how the church can better engage young Catholics and help them find roles in the church, whether as priests, nuns or lay members.
In a twist on the usual protocol at such gatherings, more than 30 lay Catholics below the age of 30 years attended the sessions, where they enlivened the atmosphere by clapping and cheering during some of the speeches.
A published agenda for the meeting made only passing reference to sex abuse, but after months of scandals in the U.S., Latin America and Australia—and the claim by a former Vatican diplomat that Pope Francis himself had ignored sexual misconduct by a U.S. cardinal—the subject inevitably loomed over the proceedings.
Bishops frequently addressed clerical sex abuse during the first week of the monthlong synod, Archbishop Eamon Martin of Ireland told reporters on Friday.
CoT: It appears the pope does not know the difference between true persecution and the (natural and proper) reaction of people when they want leadership to be the proper examples they should be
CoT: The Church as mother – where’s that lunacy located in Scripture? I call it lunacy because the pope’s statement that “no one touches our mother” is more like something a thug would say – an attitude contrary to the spirit of God.
CoT: How is the accuser attacking the church through “us” exactly? In this case, the accuser is actually in his role as the tempter, and the men in clerical garb are not resisting, not fighting back against the temptation. Thus the charges are appropriate.
CoT: If the pope feels that this is undue persecution, then he should stop everything to focus on this issue in order to deal with it properly and thoroughly, so that it ends. However, the scandal is true. Therefore, it is NOT persecution, as persecution is being harassed for your faith without cause. But this scandal is great cause for people to justly bring charges against the offenders, AND those who’ve had a role in the lack of properly dealing with the problem.
CoT: The duration of this synod was 30 days, of which, one archbishop says, the issue of clerical sex abuse received some time during the first week. If the topic of the synod was about youth and engaging young Catholics, it needs to begin with many discussions on the issue of making them feel safe because they have been made safe and protected.
The 60-page final document, released late Saturday, devoted two paragraphs to the subject of abuse, calling for “rigorous measures of prevention,” starting with the selection and education of clergy and other church employees. Quoting Pope Francis, the document lays much of the blame for sex abuse on “clericalism,” or an excessive deference to the church’s hierarchy
CoT: Is the pope here blaming the people, or those in charge of the institution? Regardless of which, the atmosphere he condemns has come into being because of the elitist attitudes developed by the clergy – layman divide, and that because the Catholic church violates Scripture: Matthew 23:8-12 NASBS  But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.  Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.  Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.  But the greatest among you shall be your servant.  Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.
The final document is “frankly inadequate and disappointing on the abuse matter,” Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, a member of the council that organized the synod, said in an email. “There’s very little sense of heartfelt apology in the text.”
The archbishop, who had previously called on the pope to cancel the gathering because of the sex-abuse crisis, said Saturday that “church leaders outside the United States and a few other countries dealing with the problem clearly don’t understand its scope and gravity.”
CoT: which would explain why
Some bishops from the developing world objected that their peers from western countries were overemphasizing sex abuse at the synod, according to Cardinal Oswald Gracias of Mumbai, who helped draft the final document, which touches on topics ranging from migration to the internet and their impact on the lives of young Catholics.
“To be fair to the synod, you can’t say (sex abuse is) the number-one thing,” Cardinal Gracias, who is also a top adviser to Pope Francis, told the Catholic website Crux. “The statement should answer the needs of the United States, Ireland, Australia, but not just them.”
CoT: the sex abuse scandal ABSOLUTELY is the number one thing; it MUST be dealt with: the past made right, and the current verified safe, so the future trustworthy. It is dereliction of spiritual duty to discuss how to engage the youth before you’ve made amends and implemented new policy to protect them!
The pope has called another international meeting of bishops to discuss clerical sex abuse for four days in February
CoT: REALLY?! Four days?! To discuss… what? There’s nothing to discuss, but a great deal to repent of – REPENTANCE is what should be taking place. This scandal did not come about from external issues, but the spiritual war within the members of the people:
Romans 6:11-13,16,19 NASBS
 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,
 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
 I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness, resulting in sanctification.
CoT: Therefore, the only actions that can make any difference in this issue is one that affects the inner man – Repentance, Renewal of the Mind, and Resisting Temptation. The fact that solutions are being sought in the wrong location simply proves that Catholicism is out of tune with God and His Word. This problem of being out of order is seen in another area as well, that of cultural points, as the last of the article shows:
Another split between developed and developing countries at this month’s synod emerged in the debate over the church’s approach to gay people. The published agenda made news by using the term LGBT, apparently for the first time in an official Vatican document.
But the African bishops at the synod overwhelmingly opposed the use of LGBT, arguing it would create ambiguity about the church’s prohibition of any sexual activity outside of marriage between one man and one woman.
“We’ve got a very strong tradition in Africa of families, family life, and division of the sexes is very, very clear. If we come out with unclear statements, that same-sex attraction is OK and so on, it’s going to be completely misunderstood,” Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa, said in an interview.
CoT: So what are we left with at the end of this monthlong meeting?
1) Further proof that Catholicism does not truly know God or His Word, they are nothing more than modern day Pharisees
2) They are trying to fix the engine from the trunk (or boot, I believe, for my British friends) by talking about engaging the youth without first repenting and apologizing to them.
3) Catholicism, though it stretches into many cultures, does not know any of them well enough to be leading within them.
This is just one more item, on a long list of such, that proves Catholicism is NOT a path to the Almighty Creator God. And, it is most likely that what they’re experiencing is actually God doing a bit of house cleaning – for He will not be mocked:
Galatians 6:7 NASBS  Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
Archbishop Charles Chaput is one, of a very few, who seem to be on the right track:
Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, a member of the council that organized the synod, said in an email. “There’s very little sense of heartfelt apology in the text.”
CoT: But an apology isn’t enough. Repentance (deep sorrow or contrition for a sin, wrongdoing, or the like, that brings about change in the heart that is visible in how one lives (Matthew 3:8,10 NASBS  Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;  The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.) – by many is sorely needed. If true repentance does not take place, then the issue of clerical sex abuse – and the sinfulness that it is – is still upon the Catholic church.