|Greg Burke must have felt a strong need to pull his fellow OD member Jaoquin Navarro-Valls out of retirement on behalf of respinning JPII's dismal record on clerical abuse.|
I swore I wasn't going to write one more word on the upcoming Canonizations of JPII and John XXIII, but that was not to be. This morning Joshua McElwee posted an article for the NCR in which two very prominent JPII apologists attempt to convince us JPII acted with expediency on clergy sexual abuse. The two men are, American neocon George Weigel and JPII's papal spokesman Dr Jaoquin Navarro-Valls. Both are closely connected with Opus Dei. This is important because JPII decreed Opus Dei a Personal Prelature of the Papacy. This act essentially took OD beyond the control of any local bishop, gave OD a great deal of freedom to operate, and paid back some debts. (For some reason, 'Lannister's always pay their debts' comes to mind.)
John Paul II derived great deal of benefit from his association with Opus Dei....all the way to and through out his papacy. Now that their 'pope' has taken hit after hit in the major news outlets over his handling (mishandling) of the clerical abuse scandal, Opus Dei has brought out their best spinners to defend the soon to be Saint John Paul II.
The following is an excerpt from McElee's article.
.....Navarro-Valls said Friday that John Paul II was not able to act more quickly in Maciel's case because the pope was dying while an investigation he ordered was being concluded. As part of that investigation, Navarro-Valls said, John Paul II had sent Charles Scicluna, then an official at the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and now an auxiliary bishop in Malta, to collect testimony in places around the world.
"The pope knew that the investigation was underway but was not informed of the results" because it was only concluded as he was dying in 2005, Navarro-Valls said. (It hasn't gone unnoticed by some of us that as long as the Legion was in the news, Opus Dei wasn't. On the other hand, this is also a tacit admission someone else was running JPII"s papacy in it's final years. I wonder who that was?)
The former spokesperson also said he met with Pope Benedict in the "first days of his pontificate" to discuss the findings in the Maciel investigation.
Navarro-Valls said he pressed upon the new pope in that meeting the importance of making the results of the investigation public, which he said Benedict immediately agreed to, telling him to hold a press conference the next day. (Navarro-Valls statement is true only in the sense that we were told Maciel was ordered to a life of penance. We were not told why he was so ordered, nor given any details from the investigation itself. Nor were any apologies issued to Maciel's victims.)
Also speaking Friday at the Vatican briefing was American writer George Weigel, who has written several biographies of Pope John Paul II. He also defended the pontiff's record in responding to clergy sexual abuse.
During the time of reporting on sexual abuse in the Boston archdiocese in 2002, Weigel said, there was "an information gap" between the news being made public in the United States and at the Vatican. (Oh, that's right. This was all happening in that time frame when no one in the Vatican knew how to use the internet. Of course there was an information gap.....cough, cough.)
"I think there was an information gap particularly between the United States and the Holy See in the first months of 2002 so that the pope was not living this crisis in real time as we were in the U.S.," Weigel said. (It's hard to function in real time when your handlers don't give you real time information.)
"But once he became fully informed in April of that year, he acted decisively to deal with those problems," he said. (This would be precisely the time that Secretary of State Cardinal Sodano would have become aware of the fact that Boston's Cardinal Law suddenly needed a position with the Holy See.)
In April 2002, John Paul met with 12 U.S. cardinals and bishops' conference officers at the Vatican. He told them he was "deeply grieved" by news of clerical sexual abuse and said there was no place in the priesthood or religious life for those who would harm children. (And took exactly no meaningful action.)
Weigel also said that John Paul II had been a "great reformer" of the Catholic priesthood and had faced a "crisis" during the 1970s of "weak seminary formation" of priests, a "small minority" of who were engaging in sexual abuse....... (I can't wait for Bill Donohue to use these exact same talking points....except 'a small minority' will become 'gay priests'.)
The quick canonization of JPII and the coupling of same with the fudging of qualifications for John XXIII may not go down as high points in Pope Francis' legacy. All I've gotten out of this is that canonization has become a political process as opposed to a spiritual process. Personally, I wait for the day the Church begins to canonize people whose miracles happen in their lives and not after their deaths....and involve other areas than medical miracles. The truth is the placebo effect is far more efficacious than the efforts of either of these popes, but I would imagine that's not a truth pious Catholics want to believe.
Now for a quick personal note. I was not able to do much with this blog for the last two weeks due to commitments at work. Between being down two full staff positions and compensating for mandatory training, all of us saw far more of work than we might have liked. Hopefully that's over for awhile and I can get back on a more regular writing schedule.