In all the rush by secularists to embrace Pope Francis as the Great Reformer, the Great White Hope, the Superpope, the New Messiah, the Man of the Year, the Poster Boy for all things groovy and left wing, a detail this week seems to have slipped by un noticed.
This article from Catholic News Agency reports that Pope Francis has completed the establishment of a new Vatican body to deal more quickly with cases of sex abuse by priests.
The body is a specific office within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That will deal with ‘delicta graviora’, or ‘more grave crimes’. These are the most serious crimes in the Church, and most notably include offenses against morality: the sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric; or the acquisition, possession, or distribution of child pornography by a cleric.
While this is being heralded as a “new office”, in fact it has been in the pipeline for five years, and guess who got the ball rolling? It was that arch conservative, one time member of the Nazi party, the misogynistic, homophobic, old white man, the “Vatican Enforcer” Benedict XVI. Hmm. That’s right. Pope Francis the Reformer is simply putting the final touches on a reform initiated by Benedict XVI.
They don’t call Rome “the eternal city” for nothing. The establishment of this new office is based on norms published in 2010, which were themselves an enactment of the 2001 codification of canon law which streamlined disciplinary matters by putting them all under the oversight of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
What made the headlines five years ago in articles like this, and this and this when the guidelines were released was that the remit of the new office included in the “grave sins” not only priestly pedophilia but women’s ordination.
The headlines at the times screamed predictably, “Vatican Calls Women’s Ordination a Grave Sin” and “Vatican Equates Women’s Ordination with Pedophilia” and of course the whole apparent debacle was laid at the feet of the villain of the piece Pope Benedict.
Now Pope Francis has put Benedict’s reforms into place (complete with the fact that the office will deal with the “delicta graviora” of women’s ordination) and the secular press who keep trying to make Francis wear a mask of their making are keeping mum. Continue Reading
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