Pope Francis has recently re-branded himself as a reformer and healer who cares about addressing the injustices perpetrated by his priests, but a group of Indian nuns are calling out Francis for his hypocrisy and inaction.
“Pope Francis gives some hope, but nothing is percolating down,” said Holy Spirit Sr. Julie George, who was one of 75 Indian Catholic leaders who signed a “letter of concern” that was sent to all bishops and major superiors in India back in February 2016.
The letter ripped the lip off of the culture of sexual violence by Indian priests, where Bishop Franco Mulakkal of Jullundur allegedly raped a former superior general of a Catholic religious congregation. Despite the hoopla, Pope Francis never acknowledged the problem and has not lifted a finger to clean up the culture or bring the offenders to justice.
The Save Our Sisters Action Council has worked with the Forum of Religious for Justice and Peace and other Indian whistle-blower groups demanding accountability, but they have been ignored by Indian church leaders who have publicly sided with the bishop accused of rape. Church officials have even publicly slandered the supposed victim by inventing a conspiracy theory about an extortion plot.
“It is all planned and timed to blackmail the bishop from taking punitive action against her,” said Fr. Peter Kavumkal, who serves as Jullundur diocesan vicar general and confirmed that the nun would be defrocked by her congregation following her alleged rape.
The Syro-Malabar Church’s Synod of Bishops released a stern rebuke earlier this year banning priests and nuns from public protest, halting any non church-approved communications with the media, and threatening legal action against media entities who provide negative coverage. The culture of cover-up is continuing within the Catholic Church, despite Pope Francis’ lip service to the contrary.
“Listen to the cry of the young, who want justice,” Francis said during a four-day public relations summit earlier in the year. “The holy people of God are watching and expect not just simple and obvious condemnations, but efficient and concrete measures to be established.”
Pope Francis’ own record shows that he assisted at least one pedophile priest in rehabilitating his image and perhaps allowing him to prey on more young boys. Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano exposed Francis for making former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick his “trusted counselor” even after it was well-known to the Church that he was a serial abuser of children punished by his predecessor Benedict XVI. McCarrick was defrocked earlier this year for “sins against the Sixth Commandment with minors and with adults.”
“Pope Francis must be the first to set a good example for cardinals and bishops who covered up McCarrick’s abuses and resign along with all of them,” Vigano said.
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