Pope Francis and the Catholic Church in light of recent events

I remember when Pope Francis was first announced as Pope back in 2013, and in classic Satanist fashion I immediately expressed skepticism towards the man for his seemingly liberal and progressive outlook. I dismissed the popular conception that he was going to reform the Catholic Church in any meaningful way, and I believed that he was going to simply be a nice new face for the press and the celebrity class. This isn’t to say that I hate everything he’s saying – just most of it (he is a bourgeois Christian after all, no less the leader of the Catholic Church) – but I have consistently treated him as essentially a show. I have taken a little bit of heat back in the day for being so mean and critical towards this progressive facade he had going on, and to this day I stand by my original stance, now more than ever in fact.

For years there’s been scandal attached to the Catholic Church for numerous incidents, both real and alleged, of the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests within the Church, which was covered up by the Church itself in order to protect the priests rather than punish them for what should obviously have been treated as sinful conduct by their own standards. This summer, that scandal has returned to the limelight full force with the allegations surrounding Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, resulting in him being stripped of the right to perform priestly function and duty, and then the emergence of a lengthy report documenting the sexual abuse of 1,000 children by 301 priests within the US state of Pennsylvania. The report also stated that abuse was covered up by senior Church officials who knew full well that the abuse was happening and on such a wide scale. If that wasn’t enough, Pope Francis himself has been accused of having known known about McCarrick’s abuse since 2013 by Cardinal Carlo Maria Vigano, who has demanded the Pope’s resignation. When confronted with this news upon his return from a trip to Ireland, Pope Francis responded by saying “I will not say a word about this, I believe the document speaks for itself”. As it stands now, US states have begun taking action against the Catholic Church, with attorneys across the country issuing subpoenas against the Church over the allegations of widespread sexual abuse, inspired by the Pennsylvania report.

I’ll be honest, I feel somewhat vindicated from this development. The Pope comes off as a weak force, despite ostensibly condemning the abuse and encouraging indicted clergy members to resign. There is this sense that he doesn’t want to deal with the scandal, that he wishes to distance himself from the whole fiasco, or for some reason he just wants to deal a light touch to the subject matter. And, naturally, the victims of the sexual abuse don’t appreciate this stance. They want action, and so far they feel the Pope just isn’t cutting it. While I do get the sense that the Pope’s conservative critics are using this as an opportunity to press for his resignation so he can leave the papacy and have some asshole they like takes his place and moves the church away from its more anti-capitalist bent, the fact remains he is not being very firm on the matter of widespread child sex abuse that may have been known about and covered up by his organization. Even in his more recent address to new bishops, he apparently still didn’t touch on the scandal much, as though keeping distance from the whole thing.

Now, why do I feel vindicated from this? Like I said before, I’ve been saying for years that Pope Francis would never amount to an actual force of reform for the Catholic Church, that he would only be a nice face for the Church who admittedly says nice things (that is to say, the stuff that hasn’t been faked) who ultimately changes nothing. And now that a major scandal has engulfed the Catholic Church yet again and the Pope seems relatively uninterested in taking a decisive, firm stance against the corruption within his own house, it becomes obvious to me that I was right, that he is simply a way for the Church to redeem its image while solving nothing. Even in his letter addressing the abuse in August, Pope Francis still offers a mostly platitudinous condemnation, bereft of the plan of action that so many victims would like to hear. It is worth noting at this point that, just yesterday, a letter from 2006 has emerged telling us that the abuse of Theodore McCarrick has been known to the Catholic Church, wait for it, since 2000! They knew damn well what was going on, but they chose not to do anything, or worse they chose to cover it up, and Pope Francis has not been better in this tradition of silence, only leaving us whispers and mumbles in response.

Francis is nothing more than a pathetic idol of false reform for a Church that has been institutionally rotten long before his time. Given just the intrinsic corruption that the Church embodies, it is long past time that the Church be abandoned and swept aside. Even mass conversion to Protestantism would be better than keeping such a disgusting institution alive for one more generation. I was right, the people who bashed me for complaining about his liberal attitude were wrong, and they should fucking deal with it.

Pope Francis, looking a little dejected there