Marion Witte

February 25, 2019

The Pope Called Me “A Friend of Satan”

Filed under: Catholic Church — Marion Witte @ 2:44 pm

The three day Papal Summit regarding “Sexual Abuse of Children” in the Catholic Church just ended on February 24th in Rome.  It did not get out off to a really great start – or a great ending.

First Pope Francis made a public statement the day before the summit, declaring that those who were criticizing the church were the “friends or relatives of Satan.”  This statement appeared in several international new sources. Then, on the eve of the summit, he did not appear for what was to be a meeting with adult survivors of abuse, who had travelled to Rome, to express their concerns to the Pope.

In the end, the summit turned out to be a big “nothing burger.” As one reporter stated, it was a lot of “thoughts and prayers” and little action.

Many organizations and individuals (including people like me) who have been critical of the church’s handling of this worldwide scandal were hopeful the church leadership would come up with a solid plan to deal with past abuses, and equally as important, put in place preventative measures to avoid future atrocities.

One interesting revelation made during the summit was from a Cardinal from Germany, who divulged that many of the records of abuse in that particular country were either destroyed or not committed to writing.  Experts suggest this may be a worldwide policy.

Advocacy groups have been pushing the Vatican to adopt a “No Tolerance” policy.  Sadly, this did not happen at the recent summit.  My recommendations for actions that need to be taken by the Vatican include the following:

  1. Allow outside law enforcement to get involved in any alleged sexual abuse crime by a member of the Catholic organization
  2. Not allow the Church to rely on the cover of Papal Canon Law and Pontifical Secrecy to be the first course of action (and oftentimes the only) under which a victim can report a crime
  3. Advise all parishioners that the above policies have been adopted and are supported by the Vatican
  4. Immediately remove a priest from a parish, and from being able to minister, if an allegation of any form of impropriety is made – and not just move him from parish to parish
  5. Require that the church release all the records of know sexual predators, and those members of the hierarchy who covered up their crimes, to outside law enforcement for possible prosecution.
  6. Change the rules regarding priests not being able to marry
  7. Allow female priests to be ordained

Without at least some of these suggestions being undertaken, it appears that that Church has once again dug in its heels and put its head in the sand. We will have to wait once more to see what future actions they do take, if any.

Although I was raised as a Catholic, I long ago gave up the idea of heaven or hell, a concept Pope Francis speaks of frequently.

Therefore, I can only ponder what will happen when he dies, and he takes a ride to the Pearly Gates in his Pope Mobile, wearing his long dress, his wizard hat and his alpha-sized cross necklace.  How will he respond when God asks him about the hundreds of thousands of children under his watch who were subjected to sexual abuse?  And so, I believe I need to send Papa Francis lots of “hopes and prayers.” Perhaps the judgment he receives will be more compassionate than the treatment of the children whose lives have been damaged.

And about that little matter of the Pope thinking I am a “friend of Satan” – I wear that like a badge of courage!

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  1. Marion,
    Please put together a letter that all of us “friends and relatives of Satan” can sign and send to Pope Francis. I will certainly send one and I know MANY people who will as well.

    Keep on busting this open, Marion! I stand with you.


    Comment by Kaila M Kaden — February 25, 2019 @ 4:01 pm

  2. Forgot to mention that my thoughts and prayers are with the victims.

    Comment by Kaila M Kaden — February 25, 2019 @ 4:02 pm

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