Details are beginning to emerge from the lawsuit against Catholic Archbishop Nienstedt and the diocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The suit was brough on behalf of a man who says he was sexually abused as a child by a priest.
What is unusual about this case is that there is a diocesan insider with a conscience who has blown the whistle. Jennifer Haselberger, a former chancellor of the archdiocese, is willing to name names and spill details under oath. MPR:
Haselberger resigned in April 2013 in protest over the archdiocese's handling of abuse cases. She contacted MPR News in July 2013 and disclosed how Nienstedt and other top officials gave special payments to abusive priests, failed to report alleged sex crimes to police and kept some abusers in ministry. Her account was especially stunning because it involved decisions made by church leaders as recently as April 2013.So far, so depressing. But hey! There is a great new pope, so, like, move on, right?
Not so fast.
Francis has thus far done nothing - NOTHING - to protect a single child. He has put up some window dressing. Earlier this month he met with some victims of abuse. Hand-picked, quiescent victims who have remained within the church. He has not yet met with any of the organized groups of victims who are seeking reform and justice.
Worst of all, he speaks as if this is all something in the past:
"I beg your forgiveness, too, for the sins of omission on the part of Church leaders who did not respond adequately to reports of abuse made by family members, as well as by abuse victims themselves," the pope said.The St. Paul lawsuit is making it clear that the gross indecency and insider-cover-ups are still ongoing.
"This led to even greater suffering on the part of those who were abused and it endangered other minors who were at risk," the pope said, according to the English translation of his homily, which was delivered in Spanish.
Francis has does nothing.
To cite just one case, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson was implicated almost 9 months ago in a cover-up of a child molestation by a priest.
He has claimed under oath that he "didn't know" sexual abuse of a minor by a priest was a crime.
Guess what: he is still on the job. Still exercising his supernatural powers.
Francis became pope in March, 2013. He has had plenty of time to act, but he has not.
He did do one telling thing: he fast-tracked the cannonization of John Paul II - the fastest-ever declaration of sainthood.
How's that for a tactic design to shut-down open-minded inquiry into the conduct of the church hierarchy?