My Hope for the Pope


I’ve been following Pope Francis this past year, his first year.  I’ve followed almost everything he’s said that’s been published.  I find I have hope from his attitude, his approach to his office, and his spirituality, which I believe is very sincere, very real.  And yet…  There it is, that sorry “and yet” which captures that part of me that recognizes goodness, and good words and intentions from dedicated religious who, when push comes to shove, protect “their own”, their “institution”  their religious order or diocese.  That is my gripe with the LCWR who say they have no authority over their membership, ignoring the moral authority they have that could pressure women religious leaders to be better than the bishops have been–to learn from the bishops’ errors and evil responses to victims, rather than offer a cop-out, “we have no authority” crap to those advocates who have tried over and over to approach the LCWR for help for victims of their own members.

I am afraid.  I am honestly afraid to trust the hope I feel when I read or listen to the words of this new pope.  I am so tired of living afraid of those in the Church I so much wish I could trust.  So tired.  I am afraid of being hurt again, disappointed again.  Yeah, I know, Lord, You don’t want us to put our trust in princes and all that.  I know.  Still, here in this world we hope to find goodness where goodness is supposed to be.  I guess the lesson is simply to recognize goodness where we find it, rather than where it is supposed to be!  Aha!  OK.

I’m no longer a Roman Catholic.  Only part of that is due to the reactions (and lack of reaction) I’ve received from the Sisters of Mercy over the years.  The greater reasons are from my own desire to live a Catholic Christian life in a way that is not Roman.  I found that way 18 years ago, and further back than that if I examine my beliefs, so my peace and life as a Catholic Christian is no longer under the control of those who do and allow such harm, and make no real effort to change.  I am at peace within The Celtic Christian Church and have never regretted that decision.   Yet, that does not negate the many years I have innocently and sincerely loved the RC Church, and all I gained from it that was positive, that was a blessing.  I want to trust this pope, and yet, I can’t find it in me to do so, yet.

He is being pressured by the UN now to do some house cleaning, to rid the Church of priests who abuse.  Still no mention of those nuns (at least here in the USA) who abuse.  Ireland pulls no punches about them!  Damn, I love the Irish!   As my Irish cousin said to me while visiting her back in 1995 or so, “they’ve bullied us here for too long.”  The Irish have been simmering for many years long before their investigative reports were done and publicized.  I only wish the UN had not limited their words to abusive priests.  It’s a chance lost to bring attention to the women who have no place in religious life.  Oh well…

I hope victims of Sisters will keep rattling the cage because, in the long run, it is just NOT about me, or about any single individual victim (sacred as we each are), but about future ones, those who might be saved from this horror!  If this is not stopped, and nuns not held accountable, they will slip through this period of examining sexual abusers, and they will not be noticed, and that is their goal.  I believe that is why they are so very quiet regarding the issue of sexual abuse, as opposed to women’s rights or women’s ordination or the many important social justice issues about which they speak out so freely. They do NOT want attention drawn to them.  On their website, the LCWR states the following lie:

“We, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, are compelled to work toward a world where reverence for all living beings finds expression in an approach to life free from violence.”

If this were even minimally true, they would be in an ongoing relationship of compassion and justice with SNAP and other victim support groups who are currently taking care of the victims of sexual abuse, a hideous form of spiritual violence, against those in their trust.  Rather the LCWR is complicit in ongoing violence toward victims by ignoring ALL that needs to be done for them.

I have hope for this pope, and yet…even with sincere intentions, if he does indeed have them, when it comes to this matter of sexual abuse of youth he is like a president who is blocked by a congress at each step.  If he is serious he will need to be very strong to stand up against women religious because they have the world fooled into supporting them blindly.  Good luck, Francis!


~ by caitfinnegan on February 9, 2014.

2 Responses to “My Hope for the Pope”

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