In my first book, The Bully’s Trap, I asserted that the Catholic Church has no moral authority to be in the business of providing spiritual advice and counsel to their flock of parishioners. Articles in the New Yorker Magazine, The Guardian, and PRI’s The World support this statement.
There was unconditional pushback from staunch Catholics, including bullying expert Barbara Coloroso. She is a former Nun, and a former co -author of mine who was extremely uncomfortable using the Catholic Church to illustrate bullying and abuse; and we cannot find anything she has written or spoken about such abuse, which is strange because she is a children and youth bullying expert. Even when specifically asked about these atrocities she had no comment – apparently she’s drinking the ‘sacramental cool aid’. When asked what their greatest fear is in exposing this, the only conclusion I could logically reach is that there is much more to it than what’s been exposed – the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
But then, when Pope Francis was appointed, I thought there was some real hope; so much so that in my 2nd book ‘From Bully to Bull’s-Eye: Move Your Organization Out of the Line of Fire’, I was more optimistic that there would be a shift. My optimism was short lived and quickly turned to disappointment that he didn’t take a stronger stance. But, alas, as I point out in my book, turning targets and victims into villains is a common tactic used by bullies to defect the issues from them.
If his inaction wasn’t damning enough, Francis added insult to injury by giving Cardinal Law a full Vatican funeral as I wrote in a December blog. It bears repeating that, “Frankly, giving this guy a Vatican funeral is like giving Donald Trump the Noble Peace Prize.”
It is interesting to note that Pope Francis is taking this stance in the year of the ‘#MeToo Movement. We should encourage those who have been abused by the predators in the Church to start a similar movement to flush the predators out.
And now, he’s totally capitulated as is exposed in this USA Today article by Jane Onyanga-Omara. He’s relegated himself and the church to be totally neutered and ineffective and unable to appropriately carry the torch for what they’re supposed to be doing, providing spiritual guidance. Perhaps the Church should sell their assets; give them to the abused and victimized; get out the business. They’d do less harm.
This is a terrible blow to the hundreds, if not thousands, of people who have had their lives ruined because of the Catholic hierarchy and perverts and predators they protect. Simply stated, this is appalling.
Photo credit: obamawhitehouse.archives.gov